Arizona Airways

1942 - 1950

Arizona Airways, in March, 1946, began intra-state service on three routes out of Phoenix: one east, one south, and one northwest. Their specialty was scenic tours of northern Arizona, especially the Grand Canyon. See articles below for more early history.

The Civil Aeronautics Board issued them a certificate in January, 1948, with an airmail contract from Phoenix to El Paso with intermediate stops. By then the carrier's finances were precarious and a merger was proposed to the CAB on June 18, 1949 to unite Arizona Airways with Monarch Airlines of Denver, Colorado. The CAB approved the merger with Monarch Airlines on April 10, 1950 which took effect June 1, 1950.

The Arizona Airways had three DC3s at the merger: N-75028, N-64910, and N-57985. Their Sunliner names at Frontier Airlines became Teton, Williston Basin and Yellowstone. A fourth DC-3, N-75029, was sold before the merger was finalized.


Rocky Nelson was Founder and President of Arizona Airways from its founding in 1942 until its merger with Challenger and Monarch Airlines June 1, 1950 to form Frontier Airlines, headquartered in Denver. Afterwards, he was a regional vice president for Frontier Airlines. Rocky died March 6, 1951 at age 46 of a heart attack. Visit his Memorial Webpage.


This is the only known photo of the three airlines' aircraft.

DC3 at Prescott, AZ: In early 1947
DC3: Sketch shows color scheme well
DC3: There were 3 in the fleet June 1, 1950 when a merger formed Frontier
Same aircraft: SN75028 became the "Sunliner Teton" at Frontier. This photo is great wallpaper.
The DC3 at the top by Craig Hansen is formatted for wallpaper
Nice view of "bare-metal" look of AZ DC3s
DC3 at Prescott, AZ


Article dated Apr 8, 1946
2nd part
3rd part
Article dated Jul 19, 1946
Article dated Jun 29, 1946
2nd part
3rd part
Article dated Mar 27, 1946
2nd part
Article dated Oct 9, 1947
Article dated Jun 20, 1950
Many thanks and a tip of the hat to the archives of the Deseret News and Prescott Evening News for these articles.

The cover from the Oct 1946 Arizona Stockman magazine.
Traffic representative George Storberl is 3rd from left and operations manager Jack Evans is 3rd from right.
Click on image for large photo.


Front of the Nov 10, 1946 timetable
Front and back of the Jan 15, 1947 timetable
Close-up of the front of the Jan 15, 1947 timetable
Inside the Jan 15, 1947 timetable
Close-up of the Jan 15, 1947 flight schedule in the timetable
Click on the label for a large photo.


Arizona's inaugural flight: On April 7, 1946
Rocky Nelson's Obituary: Other Frontier obituaries are also listed
Billy Walker sent additional info.
Route map from 1946
Route map from 1947
Ken Schultz' history of Arizona Airways
The Brief of the Public Counsel dated February 10, 1950
The CAB Report on the Arizona - Monarch case dated April 10, 1950
The final CAB approval dated May 15, 1950
The final Arizona Airways Board of Directors meeting was on Jun 12, 1950

Thanks to Billy Walker, Cary Livingston, Ken Schultz, the folks at the Frontier Club for their help and Craig Hansen for the DC3 image & nameplate at the top.

Old Frontier Airlines Website