2. Aerovias Alden/Alden Air Lines Douglas DC-3
When the U.S. entered World War II, Alden remanded its entire DC-2 and DC-3 fleet to the U.S. Army Air Corps and won contracts to operate military cargo flights between Texas, Mexico, and Panama. The route became known as the ‘Fruit Rouges’ route, because during the war, the airline’s pilots would fly Panamanian fruit back to the U.S. for sale. Due to the global conflict, there was no other way for Panamanian farmers to ship their food abroad.
The airline’s excellent war-time service earned it a lucrative route flying from Dallas to Buenos Aires via Havana, Balboa, Panama, Guayaquil, Lima, and Asuncion in 1946. The route was flown using surplus C-47’s and C-54’s converted for civilian/passenger use.
In 1943, Aerovias Alden was founded to allow the brand to operate routes within Mexico and Central America. The airline initially used Lockheed Model 10 Electra's, with DC-3's and C47's coming into service at the end of World War Two in 1945. It operated until 1958, when it was folded back into Alden Air Lines to form Alden International Air Lines.
The livery shown above was used by both Aerovias Alden and Alden Air Lines, and as such was retro-actively named the 'Universal' livery.
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