Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:57 am

Trans Caribbean Airways Routes /Equipment

Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:19 pm

Answering a prior question regarding Trans Caribbean Airways and their DC8 fleet, during the period from 1963 to 1971, the New York, NY based airline, owned by magnate O'Roy Chalk, operated these routes:


The standard DC8's were assigned to Port Au Prince, San Juan, Aruba and Curacao. The Dc8-61's flew exclusively in and out of San Juan and at times to Aruba and Curacao.

In the late 60's, they operated the 727-100 and 200, mostly to San Juan, Port Au Prince and St Thomas/St Croix.

At JFK, they inaugurated the terminal located between the then BOAC and TWA terminals, which today is occupied by jetBlue. Back then, this brand new terminal was exclusively occupied by Trans Caribbean and National Airlines, each with their own circular departure wings.

Trans Caribbean was a low fare, high service airline, with attractive livery, colorful uniforms and very loyal following.

Although not based in San Juan, it was widely considered a Puerto Rican airline because of their focus on the island and their place in the island's history. TCA 'pioneered' low fare service between the US Mainland and Puerto Rico, opening the tourism industry to a much broader market.

Regretfully, the airline was unable to compete against Pan Am and Eastern. The latter 2, started the 1970's with wide body 747 and L-1011 services to the island and the DC8's, even the 61 series, suddenly took a back seat among the traveling public.

Having survived and not having been merged into American Airlines ( which is the reason American came to serve the Caribbean ), Trans Caribbean most likely would have kept their preference for Mc Donald Douglas equipment and purchased or leased the DC-10.

It is great to see so many people still interested in this great airline and especially, the availability of scale models out there for us TCA fans!
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 3:16 pm

RE: Trans Caribbean Airways Routes /Equipment

Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:43 pm

Great TCA information! Just as an added note: the last TCA aircraft left the AA fleet on Dec. 24,1992. It was 727-2A7 #6842 (20241), former #8791R.
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:07 pm

RE: Trans Caribbean Airways Routes /Equipment

Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:02 pm

I thought that TCA had placed orders or LOI for L1011s at one point?
319 320 313 722 732 733 735 73G 738 739 742 752 763 772 CRJ D9S ERJ EMB L10 M88 M90 SF3 AT4
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:23 pm

RE: Trans Caribbean Airways Routes /Equipment

Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:07 pm

Always loved that airline and its livery,especially on the stretch 8s, as a young lad, I admired them up close and personal, from about 500 agl, as they flew that last mile on the Canarsie approach onto 13L,at JFK. Gemini Jets is featuring a TCA DC-8-61,in 1:250 scale this month on their website. Looks great !
the rumble of round engines is like music to me,likewise the thunder of thr JT8D
Posts: 699
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:59 pm

RE: Trans Caribbean Airways Routes /Equipment

Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:22 am

Many ex-TCA FAs ended up flying w/AA and based in SJU, PR after the acquisition. Some still fly for AA and are quite senior on the FA roster; (35+ yrs of seniority). AA closed its SJU FA base domicile in 1998.
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 1:38 am

RE: Trans Caribbean Airways Routes /Equipment

Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:04 am

Trans Caribbean Airways, how well I remember, truly a colorful carrier of its time, your "Flying Island in the Sky".

For sure, the "flying island livery" was ahead of its time. As a travel
agent, I remember booking so often their 130am JFK-SJU and EWR-SJU
at same time, sold for $49.00 one way which was cheap in those days.

Their female flight attendants wore a "argentine gaucho" type hat to
signify the Puerto Rican heritage of the carrier but also sported "dutch
looking" shoes reminding passengers they flew to Aruba.

Remember vivid photo published in annual stockholders report of then
CEO O. Roy Chalke at presidential palace in Port Au Prince Haiti with
then dictator Papa Doc commemorating inauguration of service from
New York JFK to Port Au Prince.

Threads above made possible mention of wide-body service by TCA.
There was an agreement with Aer Lingus to dry lease its 747s during
winter for service on TCA routes. Aircraft was to be painted in livery
of Aer Lingus on one side, TCA on the other. Sharp photo of this
appeared in one of the last stockholder annual reports. Unfortunately,
the agreement was voided by American with their takeover of TCA.

Their original JFK terminal was an old shack but the terminal that
they co-shared from owner National is today's Jet Blue terminal and
their DC8-61s look sharp in the background of the structure.

How well I miss Trans Caribbean Airways!

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos