1946 - 1950

Monarch, based in Denver, started scheduled air service on November 27, 1946 with a flight from Denver to Durango, Colorado using a DC3. It was formed by F.W. Bonfils of the DENVER POST family and Ray M. Wilson, who operated a Denver flying school. Other services started to Albuquerque, Salt Lake City and Grand Junction.

Monarch pioneered all weather operations in their service area by installing its own navigational system. By 1948 the airline was sharing several functions with Challenger Airlines such as maintenance and sales at Denver. Then Monarch bought controlling interest in Challenger in December, 1949.

Monarch merged with Arizona Airways and Challenger Airlines on June 1, 1950 to form Frontier Airlines. Monarch's President, Hal S. Darr, became President of the new airline. Ray Wilson became V.P. Operations and Maintenance of the new company and Monarch's Treasurer, C.A. Myhre, became Executive Vice President and later President of Frontier.

Monarch had five DC3s at the merger: NC64421, NC64422, NC64423, NC64424, and NC66610. They became Frontier Sunliners Arizona, New Mexico, Royal Gorge, Mesa Verde and Utah.


This DC3 image was created by graphic artist Craig Hansen.
Same as top, formatted for wallpaper.
Another DC3
Sketch of a DC3
by Leroy A. Skidmore


Ad with fares, phone numbers, and route map from November, 1947.
Route map of 1946
Stock certificate from late 1940s
A baggage label
The same label
formatted for use as wallpaper
from November 1948


Ray Wilson: Co-Founder and first President of Monarch, Nov. 1946 til Mar. 1947
Hal S. Darr: President of Monarch from Mar. 1947 until the merger with Arizona Airways
and Challengers Airlines June 1, 1950 to form Frontier Airlines. Darr became the first President of Frontier.
Notes on Monarch: Trivia and miscellany
Monarch stories: From some former Monarch employees
Monarch pilot wings: Converted into a tieclasp
Monarch flight crews:At DRO in Feb 1947
Monarch flight crews:Another Feb 1947 view
Monarch ticket counter at ABQ in 1947:Sent by Jack Weiss
Monarch stewards:A group in 1949 - Monarch did not have stewardesses

Frontier Airlines Website Index
Thanks to Craig Hansen for his graphic work which includes the nameplate and the DC-3 header.

Jake Lamkins