AIRMAIL CREATES AN INDUSTRY:
Turning it Over
If the first airline companies had relied on
paying passengers for income, none could have survived. In
the early years, some carriers made as much as 95 percent
of their revenues from carrying the mail on contract airmail
routes, known as CAMs.
The first five CAM routes were contracted in
1925 to Colonial Air Transport, Inc. (Boston to New York);
Robertson Aircraft Corp. (Chicago to St. Louis); National
Air Transport, Inc. (Chicago to Dallas); Western Air Express,
Inc. (Salt Lake City to Los Angeles); and Walter T. Varney
(Elko, Nevada, to Pasco, Washington). Contracted airmail service
proceeded slowly over the next couple of years. The U.S. Air Mail Service retained control of the transcontinental New York – San Francisco route, making its last flight on that route on September 9, 1927.
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