Southern Airways Ground Staff Hat Badge 1st Issue
Atlanta, GA 1944-1979
Southern Airways was the Local Service airline covering the south-central U.S. In the early years, the fleet consisted of the DC-3, M 4-0-4, DC-9 and later, the Fairchild Metro II. By 1971 Southern was operating flights into New York City and Chicago and as far south as Orlando and Miami. Southern remained a regional airline in character with many flights scheduled with up to five or six stops. With increasing acquisitions of DC-9 jet aircraft, many routes once served with propeller-driven aircraft were served with jets. Following two accidents and other changes such as improved highways and an increasing willingness among passengers to drive to airports farther away for more convenient flights made many of Southern's routes obsolete. With dramatic increases in the price of jet fuel many of Southern's routes were no longer cost-effective. On July 1, 1979, Southern merged with North Central Airlines to form Republic Airlines and Southern Airways came to an end. Republic then merged with Northwest who in turn merged with Delta Air Lines.