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First Airline Ever To Operate - Pan Am?  
User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2829 posts, RR: 13
Posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3464 times:

This is a trivia question, but someone Emailed me today to ask what company flew the first ever commercial airliner. I beleive Pan Am began with mail services between Havana and Miami or something like that... Key West perhaps. Anyway, if anyone knows, please post.


7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30410 posts, RR: 57
Reply 1, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3449 times:

A lot of Dutchman are going to call me a liar but it was a flying boat service that flew flight between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida.

Oddly enough it was named the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat line and commenced operations with a Benoist Type XIV flying boat on January 1, 1914.

It folded with the end of tourist season that April.

KLM however I believe is the oldest continously operated airline. It just wasn't the first one.


User currently offlineERJ135 From Aruba, joined Nov 2000, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3439 times:

I had not heard of the Flying boat operation of 1914 but that doesn't mean it's not true.
What is True is that KLM is the oldest airline operating today, 11 months older than Qantas. Third was I believe Sabena of Belgium followed I believe by the fore runners of Avianca Colombia.

I remember when the DC-3 was new!
User currently offlineTrident From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 484 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3411 times:

The St Petersburg - Tampa flying boat service of 1914 is definitely the first commercial airline opeartion using aeroplanes. However, DELAG began airship operations in 1905 so that is the very first passenger service of any sort in aviation. In two years time the airline industry will be able to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

User currently offlineRupertvander82 From France, joined Dec 2002, 411 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3377 times:

Is there somewhere I can read about the history of Pam Am? I really would like to know more about this airline, I'm only 20, and never got to see this airline working!

User currently offlineAcvitale From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 922 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

The flying boat operation is the oldest.

Pan Am would have followed had they still been in operation

But KLM would not be next in line...

Rather Chalk's Ocean Airways.. (Previously known as Chalk's Flying Service) started flying just before KLM and is still operating today.. Hence keeping the oldest continuously operating airline title from KLM....

Further Chalks operates from two airports that are the oldest continuous operating commercial service airports Bimini and Miami Sea Plane Base both which saw service commence in 1918.

After which KLM falls into place...

A C Vitale

User currently offlineGaruda From Indonesia, joined Nov 2000, 584 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3333 times:


You can read the history of Pan Am in the book, titled "Pan Am pioneer : a manager's memoir from seaplane clippers to jumbo jets", by S.B. Kauffman (edited by George Hopkins).

I'm not sure whether Singapore National Library has this book, but the Hon Sui Sen Library in NUS does have one copy.

Or alternatively, you can go and visit www.panam.org


User currently offlineAl From Australia, joined Jun 1999, 593 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3271 times:

Rather Chalk's Ocean Airways.. (Previously known as Chalk's Flying Service) started flying just before KLM and is still operating today.. Hence keeping the oldest continuously operating airline title from KLM....

This is not true, despite what Chalk's promote themselves. The oldest continually operating airline *is* KLM.
Chalks would need to have something like "oldest operating aviation company" or similar. It wasn't even an airline or had legally scheduled services until 1959 when the CAB granted it carrier status. Until then, it was a air taxi service. The fact that since 1959 they have been an airline or legal air carrier, doesn't give them the right to extend that definition back over the prior 40 years ('19-'59) when they simply were not an airline at all.
A technicality maybe, but it is why they are not recognised by the greater majority as having any claim to the *airline* title. Absolutely no argument about oldest in operation aviation company. (Here again, you need to insert the "in operation" bit as some carriers were born on paper well before they took to the air, again opening a can of worms!!)
Cheers & Regards.

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