Founded in 1934, by the end of the decade National Airlines had established a route system between Miami and New Orleans. In 1945, they inaugurated propeller aircraft service from Florida to New York and other cities along the East Coast. The following year, propeller driven Douglas DC-4's began non-stop flights between Miami and New York and the airline relocated its headquarters from Jacksonville to Miami.
In the 1950's, more advanced pressurized propeller aircraft were added to the fleet including the Douglas DC-6 and DC-7, Convair 440 and Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation.
On December 10, 1958 National Airines became the first carrier to operate jet flights within the U.S.A. flying the New York (Idlewild) - Miami route with two Boeing 707's leased from Pan American World Airways for the winter months. On February 11, 1960 they launched jet service with their own Douglas DC-8-20's, and on March 15 became the first airline to fly jets into Tampa.
By January 1963, National Airlines' winter schedule included 18 daily flights each way to and from Florida with a network of "Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast" DC-8-20 jet flights linking Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa and Jacksonville with Philadelphia, Newark, New York and Boston to the north, and along a southern transcontinental route to Los Angeles and San Francisco with some flights stopping in New Orleans, Houston, Las Vegas and San Diego.
National Airlines also participated in a daily interchange flight using its traffic rights from New York to Miami, with Pan American to Panama City and then Pan American-Grace Airways onward to Lima, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires.
Sample one-way fares from Los Angeles to Miami: First class $170; Day coach $130; from Houston to Tampa: First class $61; Day coach $47; All fares are in U.S. dollars.
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