Private charter airlines only really became to come into being outside of the UK and USA in the 1960s. Even then most nations had an established flag carrier, which often had a charter subsidiary already (Swissair and Balair are a good example of this). In a heavily regulated market, such as aviation was prior to the 1980s, national airlines rarely looked upon private enterprise as something beneficial and they usually did their damnedest to kill off any upstarts.
Finland in the early 1960s had two established scheduled airlines, which also took care of most charter needs. They were of course Aero Oy (Finnair) and Kar Air Oy. Finnair was majority owned by the Finnish government but still operated a relatively small fleet serving domestic and European destinations. By 1962 it's largest aircraft were a quartet of Caravelle IIIs, which were supported by 7 Convair 340/440s and 7 Douglas DC-3s.
Kar Air was primarily owned by the Finnish Steamship Co and the maintenance firm Veljekset Karhunaki. Its fleet included a pair of Convair 440s, 4 DC-3s, a Lockheed Lodestar and a single Douglas DC-6. Kar Air predominantly operated charter services especially to the Mediterranean countries and Balearic / Canary Islands.
Into this environment in November 1961 came Finlantic (Oy Lentorahti-Finlantic Ab). It had actually been incorporated as early as April 18, 1957 but took sometime to get off the ground. The Managing Director, Martti Palmujoki, was also the Sales Manager at Kar Air. The primary founders were the advertising agency Seitsenmainos and the magazine Apu. The original intent of the airline was to fly long-haul IT charter operations to North America but it seems that in the end the majority of services were cargo oriented.
The airline's equipment was a pair of Douglas DC-6s. The first was a 1953 build Douglas DC-6A. It had originally been delivered to the US supplemental airline Slick Airways as N90809 and served with them for five years before joining Hawaiian Airlines on January 31, 1958. It served a couple of short leases to National Airlines and World Airways prior to lease to Finlantic as OH-DCA. It became the first DC-6 registered in Finland (although Kar Air had a single DC-6 it was Swedish registered).
OH-DCA was painted into a black and white livery, although the Aeroclassics release featured in this article has misinterpreted it as blue not black (making most of the pictures black and white resolves that issue). In real life the aircraft, being a DC-6A, was also radar equipped and so had a sharper nose profile than the model.
Images of the Finlantic DC-6s are hard to come by but there is one on Airliners.net here:
The DC-6A was well equipped for freight or passenger operations and did a lot of the former. Finlantic sold cargo capacity through freight distributors and not directly. It sounds very much like a rather hand to mouth existence as apparently sometimes short notice freight chartering was needed to buy things like fuel and pay landing fees.
Operations were apparently successful enough to mean the acquisition of a second DC-6. This aircraft was a standard DC-6B built for Swissair and delivered to them as HB-IBO in October 1953. She became OH-DCB with Finlantic in October 1962 and was once again leased rather than owned. This aircraft kept the red Swissair cheatline but gained the Finlantic tail, albeit also in red. This website shows a photo of OH-DCA and computer generated reconstructions of both DC-6s:
Kar Air acquired its own Finnish DC-6 in May 1961 and presumably competed against Finlantic. By 1963 Finlantic was running out of money. OH-DCA was returned to Hawaiian in March and OH-DCB was returned to Swissair in May. Three engine failures proved expensive to rectify and failing to acquire new shareholders the company found itself unable to pay its bills. It formally went bankrupt on August 1, 1963. This was a difficult time not just for Finlantic but also Kar Air, which in November 1963 signed a co-operation agreement with Finnair whereby the two airlines agreed to carve up the market. Finnair would focus on scheduled services and Kar Air would focus on charter traffic.
That is about all the information I can discover about the airline. It seems to have operated for less than two years and yet unlike many obscure airlines of more modern times was an important, albeit brief, part of its local aviation marketplace.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: