HISTORY: BRITISH WEST INDIAN AIRWAYS LIMITED (BWIA) was the national airline based in Trinidad and Tobago. BWIA was, at the end of its operations, the largest airline operating out of the Caribbean, operating direct services to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Was established on 27 November 1939. Operations started on 27 November 1940 with a Lockheed Lodestar twin on daily services between Trinidad and Barbados. By 1942, the airline had three aircraft of this type. In 1947, BWIA was taken over by British South American Airways (BSAA), after a few months operating as British International Air Lines the 'BWIA' name was restored on 24 June 1948 for operating routes among the Caribbean Islands using Vickers Viking twin piston-engined airliners. BWIA International Boeing 707-227 at Miami in 1972In 1949, BSAA merged with British Overseas Airways Corporation and BWIA became a subsidiary of BOAC. Vickers Viscounts were introduced in 1955 with Bristol Britannias leased in 1960 to fly the long-haul route to London, via New York City. In 1960 BWIA had its head office in Port of Spain, Trinidad. On 1 November 1961 the government of Trinidad and Tobago acquired 90% of the shares in the airline, and achieved complete ownership by 1967. The company announced on 8 September 2006 that the airline would be shut down on 31 December 2006.
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