Imperial Airlines started operations in June 1948 with a Curtiss C-46 after being formed in December 1947. The company was originally called Regina Cargo Airlines. During February 1953 the company was reorganized, and operations started with passenger services principally carrying servicemen on Civil Air Movements for the US Government, and also some charter work. During 1960 several more C-46s were acquired and a DC-4 leased. In June 1959 a two-year operating certificate was awarded by the CAB. In June 1960, the company was renamed Imperial Airlines and the first of three 049s was acquired in April of that year. The 049 was used on passenger charter and military contract work within the USA. In December 1960 and May 1961, two further 049s were lease-purchased and these continued to be used on US domestic charter flights. During a brief period in July 1961, Imperial operated charter flights over the North Atlantic with the 049s, and even flights from London (Heathrow) to Prestwick on charter work for BOAC. A few months later, in November 1961, the airline's operating license was withdrawn after the crash of N2737A on a military charter flight in the USA.