Universal Airlines (United States)

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Universal Airlines (United States)
Commenced operations 1966
Ceased operations 1972
Operating bases Willow Run Airport

Universal Airlines was a United States airline that operated from 1966 to 1972, based at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It initially grew out of Zantop Air Transport, starting with a small fleet of C-46, DC-6, DC-7, and Argosy AW650 aircraft. Over time Lockheed Electras were added to the fleet. In 1969 Universal took delivery of DC-8 aircraft both standard and stretched versions, and leased three additional DC-8s over the next three years. It operated a number of military contract flights. During its heyday in 1969, Universal Airlines looked into the plausibility of obtaining the Lockheed L-500 (Civilian C-5) to carry passengers and their vehicles from coast to coast. An actual display model of that concept was displayed in the hangar two lobby. The airline went bankrupt in May 1972 and its assets were received by Saturn Airways.