Getting aboard! Belize Airways Ltd. - Belize's National Airlines in the 70's.
B.A.L. Belize Airways Ltd. was founded in 1977 and involuntary dissolved in 1980. Their headquarters was on Queen Street, Belize City. They had a fleet of 6 passenger jet planes.
This was the Airlines which Mr. Derrick Aikman organized many years ago. But its fortune was short lived.
Alberto Smith was the money man and Barry Bowen, Yasin Shoman and Alex Hunter were the Belizean directors. Flying with them to Miami in 1979 when they were on their way down, the china, crystal and silver service dining they had started with had been replaced with Plastic.
History of air travel in Belize
by Hector Silva
My first encounter was Charles Lindberg landing at the Barracks in 1928.
Then I reviewed the landing of the Pan American SEA Planes, at various spots of our Coast, especially at the Barracks and at the Yabra LAGOON ( Yarborough ).
This was followed in 1938, by TACA ( Transportes Aerios Centro Americanos, TACA now renamed Avianca) - First flights between Belize City and San Ignacio. to service the Mahogany Extraction.
This was followed in early 1940's, by BWIA, British West Indies Airways from Jamaica.
Then came TAN / SAHSA, (Transportes Aerios de Honduras via Belize to the. USA - SAHSA, (Servicios Aerios Hondurenos S. H.
Finally came TACA, followed by many attempts by Belizeans, to form a Belizean Airline. -
Then came such brave persons like John Grief, Kurt Binder, Jerry Nisbitt, Robayo, Derrick Aikman, Eugene Zabanneh etc.
BUT RECENTLY, PLANES HAVE BEEN LANDING or FALLING FROM THE SKY, from everywhere and from no where, with and without Cargo and Drugs and you name it. ( Money some say. )
This was at the old airport
TAN Airlines in Belize
TAN later joined up with SAHSA to become TANSAHSA. Famous New Orleans flight and also Miami.
Used to fly Tan Sahsa Airlines out of Miami early in the mornings. Had the best bloody Mary drinks and food. Would arrive in Belize real early, and with the time change they were very long days, but most enjoyable.
They used to call it “stay at home, stay alive”. SAHSA. And TACA was “take a chance” airline! Both were great airlines!
Top photograph by Noel J. Escalante
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