Northeast Airlines : 1933-1972
Object ID:
VE Exhibit Label 1:
Excerpts and images from A Pictorial History of Northeast Airlines 1933-1972 Published by Northeast Airlines July 31, 1972:

Northeast Airlines' first flight was on August 11, 1933 from Boston to Portland and Bangor Maine. At that time Northeast was known as Boston and Maine Airways and was a subsidiary of the Boston and Maine Railroad. The new airline, which would change its name to Northeast Airlines in 1940, had been founded a very short time before its first flight by one of the country's first air mail pilots, Paul Collins. Amelia Earhart was also a founder.

The fledgling carrier's entire fleet consisted of two secondhand Stinson tri motors. Captain Milton Anderson piloted the first flight from Boston to Portland and Bangor with eight passengers on board. In November 1936 the last Stinson was retired and replaced by 10-passenger, all-metal Lockheed Electras.

By 1940 the airline had grown to serve 16 cities in northern New England, Montreal and Moncton NB and added DC-3's to its fleet, most commercial interests were put aside in favor of serving the nation at a time of war. With Sam Soloman as Northeast's president, Northeast pilots flying Northeast's planes fought the Arctic weather in Air Transport Command flights to Labrador, Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland and Scotland. They were the first to explore the Arctic airways which, after the war, became the North Atlantic routes to Europe for many US commercial carriers.

During 1945, Northeast was certified to serve New York from Boston with 60-pasenger DC-4's. In 1949 Northeast started a 40-passenger Convair 240 service.

In the early 1950's Northeast continued to add New England cities to its route system and commenced Washington D.C. service. On August 11, 1956, Northeast's 23rd birthday, the company was granted a certificate to serve Florida with DC-6B's. Northeast Airlines made a bit of history in 1959 when it became one of the first carriers in the U.S. to offer pure jet service by inaugurating Boeing 707 service between New York and Miami.

Howard Hughes became associated with Northeast in 1962 when the Hughes Tool Company purchased controlling interest in the line from Atlas Corporation, Northeast's owner since 1938. In 1965 Northeast was purchased by Storer Broadcasting and included Boeing 727's, Douglas DC-9's and Fairchild Hiller FH-227's in its fleet. By 1966 the airline crafted a new image with yellow and white aircraft, known as Yellowbirds and added many new routes, including the Bahamas, Bermuda, Chicago and Los Angeles.

In 1969 Northeast began using Minuteman, an all-computer IBM reservations system. Also in 1969, despite its new routes, Northeast was suffering severe financial problems so it announced the intent to merge with Northwest Airlines. After difficulties agreeing on routes with Northwest Airlines, Northeast merged with Delta Air Lines on May 19, 1972
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1930s Northeast Airlines First Stewardesses1930s Northeast Airlines First Stewardesses
1940s Northeast Airlines Air Transport Command1940s Northeast Airlines Air Transport Command
1950s Northeast Airlines DC-6B Service To Miami1950s Northeast Airlines DC-6B Service To Miami
1969 Northeast Airlines Minuteman Reservations System1969 Northeast Airlines Minuteman Reservations System
1970 Northeast Airlines Yellowbird1970 Northeast Airlines Yellowbird
Northeast Airlines Aircraft Through The DecadesNortheast Airlines Aircraft Through The Decades