TCA was organized as a non-scheduled airline on May 18, 1945 by Roy Clark, and started operations on a exploratory basis in December of that year using two DC-3s. The airline's original name was Trans Caribbean Air Cargo but name changed to Trans Caribbean Airways in 1948 when passenger charters began. They purchased DC-4s and these went into service to Puerto Rico in August 1946. TCA was an active applicant in 1949-1950 in the "Additional Service to Puerto Rico Case" before the C.A.B. This route was given to Eastern Air Lines.TCA purchased DC-6s and in September 1953 applied once again to the C.A.B. for authority to operated scheduled service to Puerto Rico. This was unsuccessful but, on 15 June 1956, bi-weekly flight began under the 1955 Supplemental Authorization at a $45 fare. TCAs' sustained campaign for lower fares gained its just reward when, in February 1957, The C.A.B. examiner recommended the airline for schedule certificate on the New York - San Juan route noting that PAA and EAL had not properly developed the route to provided for peak traffic demand. On November 15th, its certificate was approved by he president for a five year trial period and TCA began scheduled service between New York and San Juan on March 8,1958. The airline grew and by 1971 it's fleet of aircraft were DC-8s and B-727-200s. A merger with American Airlines was proposed in 1970 and finalized on March 2, 1971.