PBIflyguy
Topic Author
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 1:47 am

Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:59 am

Anyone out there remember Trans Caribbean Airlines? If memory serves AA bought them in the early 70's. I'm pretty sure they flew DC-10's into JFK at one point too. I haven't been able to find any photos on a.net

I'm thinking this is how AA got started with their Caribbean stronghold? Anyone with a good memory, feel free to comment.

Safe Flying...
J
 
carnival air
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 1999 4:22 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:52 am

Yup. They flew 707's and 727 from JFK to SJU and to Aruba. I think they flew to SDQ and Colombia. Not sure. Maybe even started Miami service. AA already flew to SJU from somwhere in the Northeast when they bought them. I wouldnt say that was their big entrance to the Caribbean but it helped a little.

Hope this helps.

Oooo....check A.net because I have seen a few pictures.

Take care,
Carnival Air
 
timz
Posts: 6100
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:49 am

They flew DC-8s. No 707s far as I know. And no DC-10s-- they merged before that.
 
aacun
Posts: 432
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:47 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:01 am


TCA,

As we commonly refer to it, used to fly DC6/DC7 at the beggining, and worked their way up to DC8´s and 727´s. They flew scheduled service from JFK to different points in the carribbean, including San Juan, Aruba and St. Thomas/St. Croix. They also specialized on doing military chartes to Europe and Asia, and had, throughout their existance, bases in Hawaii, Frankfurt, San Juan, New York and as far as I know, somewhere in the Far East among others.

We still have some of their great F/A´s and pilots flying at American. They were a very small, family type operation, where everyone knew everyone. I could only wish I had been a part of that................. Those were the good old days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
timz
Posts: 6100
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:04 am

"used to fly DC6/DC7"

On scheduled flights?
 
aacun
Posts: 432
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:47 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:10 am

Don´t quote me, but as far as I know, they flew props to the carribbean from New York before they got jets. Im not 100% sure, but Ill ask some of my friends that used to fly for them and confirm this.
 
Prinair
Posts: 621
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 1999 7:28 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:36 am

Trans Caribbean Airways... "Your flying Island"

American began attempts to acquire Trans Carib in 1970. The approval from officers and stockholders from both airlines came quickly and Presiden Nixon approved the merger on 12/30/70. The merger became effective on 3/2/71. In AA's 1971 annual report it was stated that in the first ten months of operation of TCA's routes load factors increased and unit costs reduced by twelve percent. The merger was a success, it was profitable and for a few months gave AA leadership on the New York-Puerto Rico route.

In addition to New York-San Juan route, American gained entry into the following markets; Curacao, Aruba, St. Thomas, St. Croix and Port Au Prince.

Trans Caribbean (it was called "La Tranca" by many Spanish speaking passengers) was known for good reliable service with their DC-8s and 727s.

Their first DC8 (DC8-51/N8780R/"James Roy") was delivered on 11/6/1961.

From their 11/17/1961 timetable....

Routes... NYC-SJU
TCA #1 Departs 1015 Arrives 1430 Daily Service DC8
TCA #3 Departs 1915 Arrives 2330 Daily X1,4 DC8

SJU-AUA
TCA #101 Departs 1500 Arrives 1645 Mon,Wed,Fri DC6

Fares (One Way)
NYC-SJU $78.30 for "Deluxe Tourist"
$57.75 for "Thrift Class"

NYC-AUA $103.30 for "Deluxe Tourist"
$82.75 for "Thrift Class"

SJU-AUA $25.00 for "Thrift Class"

Their female flight attendant uniforms had a very peculiar "top hat" with the "flying Island" palm tree logo on it.

I got this info and some pictures from my timetable collection and books.
Check out "American Airlines" by George Cearley, 1987.
PRINAIR : Puerto Rico International Airlines
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:52 am

You can check out the "proposed" (and I reiterate "proposed") reincarnated version of TCA...

www.flytca.com

I haven't heard a peep from them since late last year. I guess it's time for another email...or better yet, a visit to their office. If it still exists!


Steve/MSY
 
IMissPiedmont
Posts: 6200
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 12:58 pm

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:12 pm

"used to fly DC6/DC7"

On scheduled flights?

Oh to be so young as to be surprised by that. Care to take a guess when EA retired the Connie?
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
dc863
Posts: 1466
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 1999 10:52 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:50 pm

TCA also lost a 727-200 on landing at St Thomas I believe, in 1970.
 
voodoo
Posts: 1959
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:04 pm

I always thought it was a 727-100.
STT's runway was only 4600 ft at the time and only -100s have the extra degrees of flap setting.
Was their airline designation `2A7' or ``A7'?

 Sad

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Photo © William W Sierra



[Edited 2004-03-17 11:07:09]
` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
 
latinaviation
Posts: 1162
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:25 pm

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:01 pm

Peter Dolara, AA's Sr VP of Latin America and Caribbean, came from TCA, as did many within AA's Caribbean Sales office here in New York. AA also swapped their South Pacific routes for Pan Am's Caribbean routes around the same time as the TCA purchase, though I don't know the year. That, with TCA, gave them a strong presence, until AA bought Eastern's Latin American division - and San Juan hub - which sealed the deal.
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Thu Mar 18, 2004 3:02 am

or better yet, a visit to their office. If it still exists!

good question, I'll check on that for you
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
masseybrown
Posts: 4422
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 2:40 pm

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Thu Mar 18, 2004 3:39 am

They also flew from Washington (can't remember which airport) to San Juan. They were owned by O. Roy Chalk who lived in DC.

"Trans-car-RIB-e-an ... Boom ba-boom ba-boom." I can still hear their jingle.
 
Prinair
Posts: 621
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 1999 7:28 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Thu Mar 18, 2004 3:54 am

For those interested...

Trans Caribbean liked to advertise using murals on the sides of large buildings.
You can go to the Condado area of San Juan (Ashford Avenue - hotel row) and still see a mural/mosaic made out (I think on this one they used small color tiles) to depict a DC8. You can clearly read "Trans Caribbean Airways" and it also has a list of destinations. This is on a wall that was part of a T.C.A. city ticket office. The building was later remodeled and it is now a ticket office for American Airlines. Also, if you drive to the Miramar section, there is a very large old high school and accross the street you can see a building that still has a roof top "Trans Caribbean" sign.
PRINAIR : Puerto Rico International Airlines
 
dc8jet
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:40 pm

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:29 pm

They also had a DC-4. See page 6 of Skyliners by George Hamlin.
 
dc863
Posts: 1466
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 1999 10:52 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Thu Mar 18, 2004 1:23 pm

Voodoo it was definately a 727-200. After the accident only 727-100s were allowed to fly there. American lost a 727-23 at the island in 1976. Interestingly enough Caribair lost a DC-9-32 on a landing accident there as well in 1969.
 
voodoo
Posts: 1959
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:36 pm

Dc863 wrote:
Voodoo it was definately a 727-200. After the accident only 727-100s were allowed to fly there. American lost a 727-23 at the island in 1976. Interestingly enough Caribair lost a DC-9-32 on a landing accident there as well in 1969.
--------------
Thanks! Wow. Those were the days  Insane . Talk about not learning from mistakes, let alone having that mountain at the end of the runway for so long.
` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
 
broke
Posts: 1299
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm

RE: Trans Caribbean Airlines

Thu Mar 18, 2004 9:53 pm

When Trans Caribbean operated DC-8's, much of their heavy maintenance was done by Eastern Airlines in Miami.
One of the trademarks of Trans Carib was a palm tree on the vertical stabilizer.
One clown made up a paper monkey and would stick it up in the palm tree on the vertical, just for grins. When the Trans Carib rep saw this, she would head for the office to raise a little h_ll. When she would bring the Eastern manager to see this outrage, of course the monkey was gone. Actually, it was now on the other side of the vertical stab. They kept her running for a few days with the monkey.
One unfortunate incident was a fire in the hangar on a Trans Carib DC-8. The airplane was totaled and a cleaner was fatally injured. I knew the supervisor who carried the cleaner out of the airplane. Not a pretty sight!! He was using MEK in the cockpit with power on the airplane; the fumes lit off.