Sunshine Skies Historic Commuter Airlines of Florida and Georgia, written by David P. Henderson

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Florida Airlines was one of the largest commuter carriers in Florida during the 1970s and claimed to have the largest DC-3 fleet in the world in 1976. The airline purchased Air South and Shawnee Airlines in 1975 and operated both as subsidiaries. Florida Airlines shut down in 1980, but was briefly resurrected a year later, conducting flights as an Air Florida Commuter carrier for a few months before going out of business a second time. Florida Airlines was reorganized as Southern International in August 1981.

Route map from September 1, 1974.

Florida Air Lines route map 1974

Florida Air Lines DC-3 at the airline's Sarasota base in 1975.

Florida Airlines DC-3 in 1975

Beginning in 1976, Florida Air Lines advertised itself as "The Connection" and applied the titles on several aircraft.

Florida Airlines DC-3 with "The Connection" titles

When Shawnee Airlines shut down in 1977, three of their hot-pink-and-yellow Martin 404s went to Florida Air Lines.

Florida Airlines Martin 404N255S in Shawnee colors.

The Martin 404s eventually replaced the DC-3 fleet. N144S, "Sanibel Island", is pictured at Atlanta in 1979.

Florida Airlines Martin 404



For timetable images and additional information, visit the Florida Airlines pages at Air Times and Timetable Images.

If you would like to share photos, stories or additional information about any of the airlines or aircraft on this site, please CONTACT ME. I would love to hear from you!

Updated December 18, 2010