San Francisco-based Pacific Air Lines was founded as Southwest Airways in 1941 by veteran aviator Jack Connelly and film producer Leland Hayward. Originally a military flight training and transport provider, Southwest Airways commenced scheduled airline service in 1946 upon securing $2,000,000 from investors including Hollywood legend James Stewart. With a point-to-point route network comprised mostly in the State of California, Southwest Airways pioneered no-frills, quick-turnaround airline service decades before today’s low-cost carriers.
Southwest Airways would change their name to Pacific Air Lines in 1958, and would join the Jet Age shortly thereafter with their acquisition of Fairchild F-27 turboprops. Boeing 727-100s were acquired in 1965, but were ill-suited for Pacific’s point-to-point short hauls in California and onward to Portland, Reno, and Las Vegas.
Pacific Air Lines ceased operations as an independent carrier in 1968, when it was merged into Bonanza and West Coast Airlines to form AirWest (eventually to become Hughes Airwest) – Stephan J. Cox