California’s regional airlines at SFO Museum


There’s yet another great exhibit at San Francisco International Airport,courtesy of the SFO Museum.

This one is all about the California regional airlines that flew between the 1950s and the 1980s.

According to museum notes, although numerous regional airlines existed during the late 1920s, they mostly went bankrupt or merged into larger, trunk-carrier airlines by the time of the Great Depression. But California-based commuter air service resurfaced during the economic boom of the 1950s and 60s, bringing PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) in San Diego, Air California (later AirCal) in Newport Beach, and Pacific Air Lines (later Air West and Hughes Airwest) in San Francisco to compete within the California Corridor with the larger carriers, including TWA (Trans World Airlines), United Air Lines, and Western Air Lines.

The Catch Our Style exhibit is on exhibit at SFO’s Aviation Museum & Library (pre-security, Departures Level 3) and presents the legacy of these California commuter airlines through a collection of flight and ground crew uniforms, inflight service items and equipment, ephemera, and promotional materials.

Here are some images from the exhibit and a link to others.

SFO Museum regional Hughes

Hughes Airwest flight bag and R.O.N. (Remain Over Night) amenity kit 1970s vinyl, metal. Courtesy: SFO Museum –

Hughes Airwest air hostess boots  1970 Designed by Mario Zamparelli, Los Angeles Manufactured by Portrait Clothes, a Division of Barco California plastic, leather. Courtesy SFO Museum

Hughes Airwest air hostess boots 1970. Designed by Mario Zamparelli, Los Angeles. plastic, leather. Courtesy SFO Museum


PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) Boeing 727 seats 1970s. plastic, metal, vinyl, polyester . Courtesy SFO Museum

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