From Pilgrim Airlines to Business Express: Flying the Northeast

Around fifty years of worker and territorial aircraft flying in the upper east, especially for those in the New York region, can be followed to transporters that started in Connecticut.

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Having established its Connecticut establishes in 1962 when Joseph M. Fugere established Pilgrim Airlines to connect Groton with JFK, it previously took to the skies on April 1 of that year, utilizing Piper PA-24 Comanches that had a place with his New London Flying Service fixed base administrator (FBO). Drawing upon a traveler base from the nearby General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, he was likewise ready to offer sanction administration to Washington, which was ended after Allegheny Airlines was conceded planned freedoms for the course.

In any case, both New Haven and New London turned into the consistent, cross-sound connects to JFK, either empowering workers to keep away from the extensive, Interstate 95 drive to New York or travelers to associate with different transporters for battles to their last objective. Working two Piper Aztecs and three Beech 18s, Pilgrim, whose name-characteristic uniform highlighted a Pilgrim’s cap, likewise settled an intrastate connection between the two waterfront air terminals and Bridgeport and Hartford.

In October of 1966, it turned into the main US transporter to work the 19-traveler de Havilland of Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, which at last turned into its upper east workhorse, when it set airplane N121PM, the first, short-nose – 100 rendition, into slots administration. It eventually wore Pilgrim’s more vivid rainbow paint plot.

Moderate extension showed its ubiquity. Beside proceeding with its intrastate Bridgeport, Hartford/Springfield, New Haven, and New London/Groton course framework, it served eight other upper east objections: Boston, Manchester, New York-JFK, New York-La Guardia, Providence, and Washington-National. It likewise landed in two transborder urban communities Montreal and Ottawa.

As indicated by its October 31, 1982 framework plan, it presented no less than 15 everyday departures from the two New York air terminals to New Haven and New London, surveying $35.00 passages to the previous and $39.00 ones to the last option.

In 1984, it conveyed a little more than 300,000 yearly travelers. Some portion of its development originated from its securing of its previous NewAir rival, empowering it to lay out an imposing business model in the wake of taking on its for the most part covering course framework and adding its four Twin Otters to Pilgrim’s current six.


NewAir itself, which was the second transporter to sow the seed that eventually developed into the others, started as New Haven Airways, whose general officials were situated at Tweed New Haven Airport. Laid out to interface the state with the major New York air terminals and consequently charging itself as “Connecticut’s Airline Connection,” it worked a flew of 18-traveler Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirantes and 36-traveler Shorts SD-360s.