An agreement in 1954 allowed Northwest Orient Airlines to serve Florida from Minneapolis/St. Paul by interchange with Eastern Air Lines at Chicago (Midway) and onward to Miami. They launched their own Florida routes in 1958 from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Chicago, Tampa and Miami. Atlanta became an intermediate stop in 1959. By January of 1960, they were operating Lockheed Electra propjet flights between Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee and Chicago (Midway) and Atlanta, Tampa/St. Petersburg and Miami.
Northwest Orient Airlines began jet service to Florida in 1960 with new Douglas DC-8-30 jets. They were replaced by the slightly smaller Boeing 720-B's in 1961, which were more suited to the medium-haul routes to Florida. On February 12, 1963, flight 705, operated by a Boeing 720-B and heading to Chicago, crashed into the Everglades after departure from Miami due to extreme wind shear while passing through a storm system. All 35 passengers and 8 crew perished.
Sample one-way fares from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Tampa: First class $110; Day coach $92; from Milwaukee to Miami: First class $104; Day coach $86; All fares are in U.S. dollars.
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