On February 24, 1948, inaugural service commenced for Wisconsin Central Airlines (later North Central) over its awarded route system designated AM86, covering 19 cities served by 14 airports using three Lockheed 10A nine passenger airliners. Due to severe weather, only the Minneapolis / St. Paul - St. Cloud - Hibbing flight was able to operate the first day and took several more days for the entire system to be served. During September, Baraboo / Portage and Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin were added with Land O' Lakes operated on a seasonal basis as a recreation destination. In October, Green Bay, Wisconsin was added to the schedule with Baraboo / Portage and Racine / Kenosha service dropped in December due to inadequate airport facilities. Three more Lockheed 10As entered service during the year with four of the six plane fleet being upgraded for additional instrument flying conditions capability. This upgrade was tied to Wisconsin Central's purchase of "H' type marker radio homing beacons being installed throughout the system where needed so that the airline could operate the schedule as an "all weather" day / night operation. 11,000 passengers traveled on WIS during this first year of service.

click for Sept 1948 schedule