Monday, September 13, 2010

Treasure State Airlines

It's not often that I come across a timetable for an airline that I can find absolutely nothing about.  But the timetable for Treasure State Airlines has been just such an item.  I have searched the various airline reference books I keep on file, and tried repeatedly (over a number of years) to find something for this carrier online, all to no avail.

In preparation for creating this post, I thought it would be prudent to check Google one more time, since it had been a while since I last searched it.  And wouldn't you know it, this time I got a hit!  I was able to find the following article from the Billings County Pioneer about the airline inaugurating service on June 1, 1954.

Montana Airline to Begin Bismarck to Billings Flight

Beginning June I, Bismarck will gain newly-scheduled air service to Williston and various Montana cities by a Montana airline. Treasure State Airlines will fly one round trip daily six days a week from Bismarck to Billings by way of Williston, according to L. W. Moore of Billings, Montana. vice president of the firm. The daytime flight originates at Billings and includes stops at Miles City, Glendive and Sidney in Montana. Two-motor Lockheed Stateliners with accommodations for ten will be used. The planes cruise at 165 miles per hour. Arrival time of the eastbound flight will be 12:55 p.m. The plane will leave Bismarck at 3:25 p. m. for the return trip. Treasure State has been operating a flight as far east as Williston Moore said. Plans since April 21, do not call for extension of the route further east from Bismarck, he said. "We feel that the new flight fills a gap in the air transportation network in this area," The Eastbound flight will leave Billings every day except Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Arrival times at other points are Miles City 8:30 a.m., Glendive 9:15 a.m., Sidney 9:50 a.m., and Williston 11:20 am. The westbound flight leaves Bismarck at 3:25 p,m, The rest of the schedule is Williston 4:40 p.m., Sidney 4:25 p.m., Glendive 4:55 p.m., Miles City 5:45 p.m., and Billings 6:55: p.m. All times for North Dakota cities are Central Standard while Montana times listed are Mountain Standard. The flight will make connections at Bismarck with Northwest and Braniff flights, Moore said. The route Treasure State will fly is similar to one for which Frontier Airlines has been seeking a certificate from the civil aeronautics board. Treasure State does not need a CAB certificate because of the size of the plane to be used in their operations and because no subsidies are involved, local observers explained.

(The text in this article was evidently scanned with OCR software from the actual page of the newspaper, so I had to weed out extraneous text from other articles in adjacent columns and correct errors where the scanner couldn't read the text properly.)

Treasure State Airlines timetable June 1, 1954 (3.5"L x 2.5"H)

I have no idea how long this carrier operated, but Frontier did get the route shortly thereafter, and if Treasure State Airlines wasn't already done by then, that probably would have put an end to them pretty quickly.

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