In 1919, Sydney "Syd" Chaplin (elder half-brother of actor Charlie Chaplin and an accomplished actor himself) and partner Emory Rogers, Jr. formed Chaplin Air Lines to shuttle moneyed passengers between San Pedro in Los Angeles on the mainland and Avalon on Santa Catalina Island. The service was the first regularly-scheduled passenger airline in California and only the second domestic scheduled airline established in the United States.* Chaplin and Rogers were aircraft dealers and operated Rogers/Chaplin Airport, located at what is now the area wedged in between Wilshire, San Vicente and Fairfax in the Carthay neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Besides up to two passengers, Chaplin Air Lines also delivered copies of the Los Angeles Examiner for distribution on the island. Regular air service began on Saturday, July 12, 1919. It took only 22 minutes to fly across the 26 miles between the mainland and Santa Catalina Island. The service offered six daily flights in each direction. After a little more than a year, however, due to tightening aviation licensing and taxes, Chaplin and Rogers found that they could not sustain the business. In September 1920, Pacific Marine Airways took over the service. Thereafter, seaplane air passenger service continued between the mainland and Santa Catalina Island through a number of successive air service companies into the 1980s.
* St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line offered seaplane service in Florida in 1913-1914.