Over the past century, the airline industry has grown from an experimental mode of transportation to a major part of the world's transportation system, carrying an estimated 1.5 billion passengers annually. Following rapid growth in the years after World War II, the airline industry in the U.S. changed dramatically when it was deregulated in 1978. Over the next 30 years, major airlines merged, failed, and filed for bankruptcy, and some smaller airline companies emerged as strong competitors for domestic travel. At the same time, many airlines have purchased bigger aircraft to accommodate the surge of passengers.
World War I helped popularize the aircraft as military vehicles, with heroic tales of American, British and German fighter pilots. But it wasn't until after Charles Lindbergh's 1927 transatlantic flight that the commercial possibilities of air travel were recognized, according to an article about the airline industry by Lydia Boyd of Duke University Library.
Air traffic regulations were passed in 1926, which were followed by the development of an extensive airmail system that flourished in the 1930s.
The air-travel industry bloomed after World War II, with major airlines flying passengers an estimated 3.3 billion miles worldwide in 1945-1946. The U.S. government deregulated the airline industry in 1978. Europe followed in 1997. The deregulated market allowed airline companies to fly in other markets that were once off-limits. Deregulation ignited a fierce competition among airline companies that resulted in many mergers and failures, according to Boyd and Stanford's library.
At the time, Lindbergh was chief pilot of Robertson Aircraft Corporation of Missouri, which was the second aviation company to hold a U.S. airmail contract. It was one of scores of companies that eventually consolidated to form the modern-day American Airlines. The consolidation began in 1929, when The Aviation Corporation was formed to acquire young aviation companies, including Robertson. In 1930, The Aviation Corporation's airline subsidiaries were incorporated into American Airways, Inc. In 1934, American Airways became American Airlines, Inc. On June 25, 1936, American was the first airline to fly the Douglas DC-3 in commercial service. By the end of the decade, American was the nation's number one domestic air carrier in terms of revenue passenger miles. On Feb. 16, 1937, American carried its one-millionth passenger. 1940's and 1950's American Airlines began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on June 10, 1939.In 1942, American entered the airline catering business with a subsidiary called Sky Chefs, providing food service to its passengers as well as to other airlines. In 1944, American introduced the first domestic scheduled U.S. freight service with the DC-3. As the business grew, Douglas DC-4, DC-6A and DC-7 freighters were put into service in the 1940s and 1950s. During World War II, half of American's fleet was turned over to the military airline, Air Transport Command, along with the crews who operated all over the world. The remaining fleet and personnel handled a vast increase in demand for air travel within the United States. From 1945 to 1950, American operated American Overseas Airlines (AOA), a trans-Atlantic division, which served a number of European countries. This was American's first European service. AOA was formed as a result of a merger between the international division of American and a company called American Export Airlines. AOA merged with Pan American World Airways in 1950.
In 1946, American established its Tulsa Maintenance & Engineering Base. The end of World War II brought a series of new aircraft to fill the expanded need for air transportation. In 1947, American's first Douglas DC-6 entered service followed by the Convair 240 in 1948. By 1949 American had become the only airline in the United States with a completely post-war fleet of pressurized passenger airplanes. In 1948, American introduced the Family Fare Plan to enable families to travel together at reduced rates. It also introduced scheduled coach service, an economical and comfortable alternative to first class travel. In 1952, American introduced the Magnetronic Reservisor to keep track of available seats on flights. In 1953, American pioneered nonstop transcontinental service in both directions across the United States with the Douglas DC-7. In 1957, the world's first special facility for flight attendant training, the American Airlines Stewardess College, was built in Dallas/Fort Worth. On Jan. 25, 1959, American became the first airline to offer coast-to-coast jet service with the Boeing 707. Also in Jan. 1959, American introduced the Lockheed Electra, the first U.S. designed turboprop airplane. American continued into the jet age with the introduction of the turbofan engine in 1961, another industry first for American, and with the Convair 990 in 1962, also powered by fan-jets. merican added other jets throughout the 1960s and 70s, including the Boeing 727 (1964) and the Boeing 747 (1966), as the older aircraft were retired. American's last piston airplane flight was operated with a DC-6 in Dec. 1966. In 1968, American was the first to order the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, which made its first scheduled flight in Aug. 1971. American gained its first Caribbean routes through a merger with Trans Caribbean Airways in 1970. It expanded those routes throughout the early 70s, and acquired other Caribbean routes in 1975 from Pan American World Airways Inc. Airline deregulation took place in 1978 and in January 1979, American launched a major route expansion, inaugurating service to new routes and new destinations across the U.S. and the Caribbean.
The Founding of IATA
IATA (International Air Transport Association) was founded in Havana, Cuba, in April 1945. It is the prime vehicle for inter-airline cooperation in promoting safe, reliable, secure and economical air services - for the benefit of the world's consumers. The international scheduled air transport industry is now more than 100 times larger than it was in 1945. Few industries can match the dynamism of that growth, which would have been much less spectacular without the standards, practices and procedures developed within IATA. At its founding, IATA had 57 members from 31 nations, mostly in Europe and North America. Today it has some 230 members from 126 nations in every part of the globe. The modern IATA is the successor to the International Air Traffic Association founded in the Hague in 1919 - the year of the world's first international scheduled services
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an international industry trade group ofairlines headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where the International Civil Aviation Organization is also headquartered. The executive offices are at the Geneva Airport inSwitzerland IATA's mission is to represent, lead, and serve the airline industry. IATA represents some 230 airlines  comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic. The Director General and Chief Executive Officer is Tony Tyler. Currently, IATA is present in over 150 countries covered through 101 offices around the globe.
Our mission at the Air Transport Industry's side
Air transport is one of the most dynamic industries in the world. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is its global trade organization. Over 60 years, IATA has developed the commercial standards that built a global industry. Today, IATA's mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry. Its members comprise some 230 airlines - the world's leading passenger and cargo airlines among them - representing 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic. Representing IATA seeks to improve understanding of the industry among decision makers and increase awareness of the benefits that aviation brings to national and global economies. It fights for the interests of airlines across the
globe, challenging unreasonable rules and charges, holding regulators and governments to account, and striving for sensible regulation. Leading IATA's aim is to help airlines help themselves by simplifying processes and increasing passenger convenience while reducing costs and improving efficiency. The groundbreaking Simplifying the Businessinitiative is crucial in this area. Moreover, safety is IATA's number one priority, and IATA's goal is to continually improve safety standards, notably through IATA's Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). Another main concern is to minimize the impact of air transport on the environment. Serving IATA ensures that people and goods can move around the global airline network as easily as if they were on a single airline in a single country. In addition, it provides essential professional support to all industry stakeholders with a wide range of products and expert services, such as publications, training and consulting. IATA's financial systems also help carriers and the travel industry maximize revenues. For the benefit for all parties involved: For consumers, IATA simplifies the travel and shipping processes, while keeping costs down. Passengers can make one telephone call to reserve a ticket, pay in one currency and then use the ticket on several airlines in several countries. IATA allows airlines to operate safely, securely, efficiently and economically under clearly defined rules. IATA serves as an intermediary between airlines and passenger as well as cargo agents via neutrally applied agency service standards and centralized financial systems. A large network of industry suppliers and service providers gathered by IATA provides solid expertise to airlines in a variety of industry solutions. For governments, IATA seeks to ensure they are well informed about the complexities of the aviation industry to ensure better, long-term decisions.