Luis Munoz Marin International Airport
San Juan - Puerto Rico (April 1989)

image SanJuan Airport

Luis Munoz Marin Internation Airport
N135FS DC-3C 20063 Four Star Aviation
N136FS DC-3C 1026 7 Four Star Aviation - ex PAF
N131FS DC-3C 329201/16172 Four Star Aviation - ex N67PA
N134FS DC-3C 33299/16551 Four Star Aviation - bare metal colors
N132FS DC-3 25778 Four Star Aviation - N333EF
N727TG B727 CF Airfreight
N527SJ B707 CF Airfreight
N29PR DC-3C 3278 Air Puerto Rico
N211FE B727 Fedex
N783V DC-3C 4219 Tol Air Services
N722A DC-3C 4382 Tol Air Services
N80617 DC-3C 20865 Tol Air Services
N80482 Beech 18 Tol Air Services
N354T Beech 18 Tol Air Services
N9020R DC-4 10827 Tol Air Services
N100DW C-47A 13643 stored/wfu - no engines
N40425 Martin 404 14131 Aero Virgin - stored/wfu
N5117X DC-3 6054 Aero Virgin - active on pax flights
Between San Juan and St Thomas
N28346 DC-3 6259 Aero Virgin
N4577Z DC-3 9795 Aero Virgin stored ex VP-LVJ
VP-LVM DC-3 12195 Air BVI - wfu
N447IJ DC-3C 6187 Air BVI - wfu
N4 425N DC-3C 1963 Air BVI - wfu
N100SD DC-3 12853 Air BVI - wfu
N87629 DC-3C 20749 stored no wings & engines
N310K DC-3C 4843 Southern Flyers – wfu
N59SC DC-3C 12332 Southern Flyers – wfu
N45860 DC-3C 12528 Southern Flyers – wfu
N344MM CV-240-53 53-26 Silver Express
N601PR DH-114 Executive Air - stored
N478C DH-11 4 Prinair – stored
HI-532CT L-1049 4155 Aerochago - ex N27189 Classic Air
HI-515CT L-1049F 4192 AMSA – ex 54-173
HI-209CT C-46F 30563 Argo
HI-548CT L-1049 4202 Aerochago – N515AC Atkins Avn
HI-242CT B727 Dominicana de Aviacion
HH-AHA C-46F 26496 Air Haiti

Visitors: 12-04-89
N870TA DC-6 45518 Trans Air Link
N872TA DC-6 44668 Trans Air Link
N29549 DC-8-55F Lacsa Carga
HI-503CT C-46D 33376 AMSA
HI-376CT CV-240-23 177 Aerochago

Visitors: 19-04-89
N809UP DC-8-73 UPS
N808UP DC-8-73 UPS
N358Q L-188 1047 TPI International (ALM titles)
N951R< DC-8-62 Emery
YV-21C DC-9 Aeropostal
HH-AHA C-46 Air Haiti
HI-532CT L-1049 Aerochago

Visitors: 24-04-89
HI-532CT L-1049 Aerochago
N441J DC-8-63 Arrow Air (Viasa titles)
N108AK L-382G Mark Air
N71RP G-3
CS-TCI B727 Gulf Air – TAP cheat-line

Isla Grande (downtown airport): 22-04-89
HI-447CA C-117D 43378 Taino Airways – seized by costumes
N470W HU-16 Stored/wfu ex USCG
N250GW Lodestarex Raineesh Int Corp
N2647 DC-3C4862Flamenco Airways
N31MC DC-3C 6148Flamenco Airways
N37AP DC-3C 4430Flamenco Airways
N908 Beech 18

Borinquen Airbase: 23-04-89
N121AECL-44D4-2Wrangle Aviation
N553PR DH-114 14082Prinair - wfu
N583PR DH-114 14134Prinair - wfu
N562PR DH-114 14140Prinair - wfu

Cyril E King airport St-Thomas: 16-04-89
N101AP DC-3C 12299 stored - wfu
N46950 DC-3C 32873 stored - wfu
N2VM DC-3 13757 stored - wfu
N628SS G-73 VISS - wfu
N611SS G-73 VISS - operational
N653SS G-73 VISS - operational
N609SS G-73T VISS - operational
N651SS G-73T VISS - operational


Air Haiti was set up in December 1969 and began cargo operation the following year from its main base at Port-au-Prince Haiti. Its main aircraft was the Boeing B707, Douglas DC-6A and there Curtis C-46 commandos. The C-46 would make twice a week appearance at San Juan usually on Monday and Wednesday morning. Air Haiti went bankrupt in 1982.


The local airline of British Virgin Islands began operations in August 1971 with BN Islanders. The DC-3s were added to the fleet in 1975. The turbine powered HS-748s, leased from Danair UK, and replaced the DC-3 during 1985. Air BVI flew mainly from Tortola to San Juan, but also served other destinations within the British and US Virgin Islands. Air BVI went bankrupt during the summer of 1991.


This was a scheduled passenger airline based at St Thomas. Founded in 1977 its main service was to the capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan International airport. The Aero Virgins fleet consisted mainly of the sturdy Douglas DC-3. They briefly operated a single Martin 404 for a year. Due to increased competition and a devastating hurricane (1989) they were forced out of business.


This airline initially began operations under the name of Aeromar, using C-46s on cargo flights from Santo Domingo. In the early eighties it also leased B707s and DC-8s mainly for the flights to Miami. Around the early eighties it changed it name to Aerochago and started to operate a single (ex TWA) L-749 Connie on weekly flights to San Juan. Later on, two Lockheed L1049 Super Constellations were purchased and they were regularly seen at Miami International airport. Additionally a single DC-7C freighter was used. During the mid eighties a single Convair CV-240 was used, but this a/c was lost in a tragic accident.


Aerolineas Mundo SA was founded in 1986 and it was first known as Air Mar Freight Systems. This airline first began in the early 1980s with a fleet of two C-46s based at San Juan. Once AMSA was founded it relocated to Santo Domingo and incorporated two Super Constellations. Amsa freight operations, to Miami and San Juan, were in direct competition with Aerochago. Both Super Connie’s were lost, one crashed off the coast of Puerto Rico and the other was damaged by a ground incident at Borinquen. Instead Amsa switched to the Douglas DC-7.


This all cargo airlines were based in Puerto Rico and used three all-cargo DC-3s during the 1980s base at San Juan.


Once the biggest regional airline in the US with over a million passengers a year, it became a well-known company throughout the Caribbean. At its height it operated 25 lycoming-powered Herons from its base at San Juan. It briefly operated Casa 212s and Convair 580s before the company went bankrupt (July 1985). Prinair did have a standard livery, but many Heron’s where painted in different colour. During my visit the complete fleet was withdrawn from service were sadly parked in a remote corner of the airport. I noted the airframe: N552PR, N564PR, N570PR, N573PR, N581PR, N582PR, N584PR and N585PR.


During the mid eighties Four Star Air Cargo was a newcomer on the cargo scene at San Juan. They started cargo operations from 1982, at the nearby Virgin Islands with a single Beech 18 and three DC-3s. Later on the centre of operations moved to San Juan. For awhile the DC-3 was supplemented with a couple of Convair 440’s, who flew a daily bread run to St-Thomas. During 2006 they took over the cargo operation of Tolair and are now the biggest DC-3 cargo operator at San Juan. See also:


According to Jorge Toledo, president of the firm, the company started its operations May 6, 1983 with a single Cessna 182, at that time, operating between Puerto Rico and Beef Island. Later additional Beech-18s supplemented the fleet. This increased capacity to 2.500 pounds per trip. That same year, the company extended the service to St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and St. Kitts. Due to a big increase in activity, the company bought three more airplanes in the shape of the Douglas DC-3. That year 1988, Tol Air started flying from San Juan to the Dominican Republic. Owing to continuous growth (1992) in the cargo sector, Tol air bought its first Turbo-Prop, a Metro II, to be used between San Juan and the Dominican Republic. During it peak, the fleet included four airplanes Cessna 402B, capable to transport 1.500 pounds, three Convair 240-440 capable to transport a load from 10 to 13 thousand pounds, five Be-18a and six DC-3s. With a fleet of 18 airplanes, Tol-Air had the capacity to handle up to 100 pounds of daily load to any destination in the Caribbean. Since a couple of years Tolair has gone out of business and been taken over by Four Star Aviation.

Source: Latin glory – Airlines of Latin America – 1995 Airlife Publication