Chalk’s International Airlines, which has ferried tourists and gamblers between Miami and the Bahamas in its fat-bellied seaplanes for 70 years, will end service Dec. 15 unless a buyer is found.
Merv Griffin’s Resorts International, the financially strapped owner, said it can no longer afford to operate the seaplane service. “Chalk’s losses are very, very substantial and have been for a long time,” said the airline’s attorney, Harold Rifas.
Described as the world’s oldest airline, Chalk’s stopped flying to Paradise Island, off Nassau, on Oct. 29. Its remaining service, primarily three flights a day between Miami and Bimini, will end in a month unless a buyer comes forward before then.
The low-flying amphibious planes have a sentimental hold on longtime residents, who call the planes “Chalkies.”