Capitol Airways Pilot Hat Badge 5th Issue

Smyrna, TN 1946-1984

There is very little accurate information about this airline but we will present what is written.

Capitol Air was established in 1946 as a supplemental carrier. It operated trans-Atlantic charters starting in 1963. The airline changed its name to Capitol International Airways on March 22, 1967. It went into scheduled European flight service on May 4, 1979. Domestic service started September, 1979. On June 30, 1980, the almost bankrupt company was acquired by George Batchelor. He expanded the service to Europe and Puerto Rico. On January 6, 1982 the airline name changed to Capitol Air. Still lossing money, the company curtailed its operations in 1983 and was sold to Capitol Holdings. The airline expanded again but they were still not profitable. The company was forced into bankruptcy and flights were suspended on November 25, 1984.

Jesse Stallings was the founder of the airline. George Batchlor bought the airline from the Stallings estate. Batchlor sold his shares to a New York group and soon after, that group sold it to Farhad Azima who also owned Global Air. His partner was Happy Nelson who later sold his shares to John Catsmatidis. The airline was forced into bankruptcy in 1984. In 1992, Catsimatidis resurrected Capitol under the name Capitol Air Express, which flew some 727s owned by Catsimatidis. It flew mainly charters between Canada and the Carribean. This operation ended in 1996. Because of all the changes in ownership my collection has six very different sets of insignia that have to do with Capitol Airways and that is probably because there were so many different changes in ownership.

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