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A history of one of the greatest legacy airlines of all time.

From the first flights of Charles Lindbergh hauling mail from Chicago to the single largest aircraft purchase in all of aviation history, we’ll explore the history of this airline giant to see how exactly the company runs.



After only a decade and a half. Airmail. From that moment on. significant improvements were made in flying. Louis with a single bag of successful journey across the Atlantic mail stowed away in the back of his DH-4 biplane. This consolidation began in 1929 and by 1930. Less than one year later. powered heavier-thanair flight in history.” The DC-3 helped American obtain access to a brand new market as well. After the advent of World War I. Lindbergh Ocean in the first non-stop flight from was the chief pilot of Robertson Aircraft Corporation of Missouri.Joseph Schmidt On December 17th. and safer into the skies. and as a result became owner of the world’s first airline lounge at the new LaGuardia Airport in NYC.” which is still in existence today. man would continue to develop his wings to soar faster. By the 1930’s. American Airways officially became American Airlines. which was only the second aviation company licensed to fly U. American had become the number one domestic air carrier in terms of revenue passenger miles. passenger aircraft service was not only beginning to grow. American began calling its aircraft “Flagships.S. a young aviator by the name of Charles Lindbergh Charles Lindbergh standing in front of his aircraft The Spirit of St. It was such an important figure for the world of aviation that Douglas specifically developed its DC-10 aircraft to land and takeoff at this airport. This company. The original hangars from the DC-3 era are still in existence at LGA. With the DC-3. Reaching the end of the decade. would eventually join together in a consolidation to form the modern-day American Airlines. headed for St. American was the first airline to really push for service to New York City.1 Valued passengers were given the right to join this exclusive “Admirals Club. higher. airplanes were beginning to really take form as a reliable means of transportation. Louis after a took off from Chicago. On June 25th of 1936. Inc. the subsidiaries of The Aviation Corporation were incorporated into American Airways Inc. In April of 1926. American Airlines became the first airline to fly the Douglas DC-3 for commercial service. 1903. but at an alarming rate at that. 1 La Guardia airport (LGA) still serves as a major operation for the New York City area. Orville Wright took to the skies in the first successful. Four years later. New York to Paris. 1 . American Airlines announced that it had successfully carried its one-millionth passenger. along with others.

This proved to be very profitable for several years for the airline. LaGuardia’s runway was only rated to carry aircraft up to 270. the jet age was officially under way. The aircraft was often referred to by the generic term “airbus” (not capitalized) since this is how airlines such as American thought they would operate this type of plane. Just as the DC-6 had provided an excellent launch for the New York City market. 2 . This big stipulation was that the aircraft had to be able to operate out of New York’s LaGuardia airport. Although Pan Am would have the first 707 “clipperjet. older aircraft in the fleet were retired.000lb because it was built on top of piers out into the harbor. American airlines worked with McDonnell Douglas to further the LaGuardia Airport into the jet age as well with the order of 25 DC-10 aircraft. and would become even more so with the development of the turboprop and turbojet engines. 1952 became a very important year for the airline when it became the first to offer nonstop transcontinental service across the United States in both directions with the Douglas DC-7. at the same time. By the 1960s.American Airlines Major Fleet Introduction History Joseph Schmidt Boeing 767 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 Douglas DC-6 Convair 240 Douglas DC-3 Boeing 377 Boeing 707 McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Boeing 727 Boeing 737-200 Airbus A300 737NG Boeing MD-11 1930 1940 1950 Lockheed L-049 1960 1970 1980 1990 Boeing 747SP 2000 Boeing 777 2010 Lockheed L-188 Boeing 747-100 Douglas DC-4 BAC-111 Convair CV-990 Fokker 100 Boeing 757 Douglas DC-7 The above timeline shows the year of introduction of each of American’s major fleet additions. on high traffic shuttle routes (Flight Global). a spectacular aircraft equipped with turbojet engines capable of providing faster travel to many passengers in a very comfortable flight. where American had invested a lot of money. American wanted an efficient. The last piston engine airplane flight was a DC-6 in December of 1966. wide body plane to operate as a “shuttle bus” between New York and Chicago. However.” American announced that it would purchase 30 707-123 aircraft for its fleet. the airline competed fiercely with other airlines such as Pan Am and Braniff to offer the new Boeing 707. With the addition of the Boeing 727 and 747 aircraft.

airline. allowing passengers to enjoy their time before their flight even more without having to worry necessarily about waiting in line. signifying their commercial success. She was the first female pilot to be hired by a major U. Worth in 1979. By now. The airline was also gaining some publicity when. Worth and Chicago. Mattel released a series of American Airlines stewardess Barbie dolls.Joseph Schmidt The 1970s was a great decade for AA. at the controls of the 727 “Astrojet. American was also able to pull another publicity stunt in announcing that Bonnie Tiburzi was hired to fly its 727 aircraft. but worldwide as well. and the aforementioned Airbus A300. With fuel costs rising through the roof. the airline had established itself as a major competitor not only within the United States. the larger Boeing 767. It had one of the newest fleets of jet aircraft capable of providing the best in costumer comfort. American had received its first Airbus A300 aircraft. a wide-body equipped with only two engines. By 1988. Bonnie Tiburzi. By this point.S. American began flights from its two major hubs. During a time of social and political unrest in the United States. 3 .” With the movement of its headquarters to Dallas Ft. the first female pilot to be hired by a major U. These flights would extend all the way to Europe and Japan.S. in the late 1960s. they also announced a fully automated system of check-in. the Airline changed its routing scheme to a full hub-and-spoke system by 1981. most of its fleet consisted of two-engine aircraft including the Boeing 757. Dallas Ft. airline. the Boeing 707 was retired by 1981 as the aging aircraft was at this point extremely inefficient in terms of fuel usage. American was the airline to fly. In 1974. With the addition of its new chairmen and CEO Robert Crandall. capable of providing the airline with a significant profit margin by reducing fuel consumption significantly from that of the 707.

American Flight 11 en-route to Los Angeles International Airport was hijacked and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. including the hijackers. for good. which was also part of the attacks. an Airbus A-300. There was a big controversy over the fault of the crash – whether it was pilot error. This would begin a change in the airline industry.. The impact killed all 92 aboard. in terms of security measures as well as overall comfort with flying. later in the year.000 Year 4 . for the first time in aviation history. the following $1. The Financial Effect of 9/11 on American Airlines Net Earnings (In millions) -$3. or the company who produced the airplane. a fault in the training systems and procedures of the airline. This cost American greatly. Extensive reports were done by the NTSB to determine the cause of the crash. people were terrified to fly again.000 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Net Earnings (in company’s economic millions) -$2. Every single plane over the United States was grounded within 4 hours of the attacks. American suffered another aircraft incident when American 587 crashed in the Belle Harbor area of Far Rockaway in New York. It was soon noted that the vertical stabilizer (known to most as the tail) of the aircraft had actually completed separated from the fuselage of the aircraft. and along with the September $2.000 11th attacks.Joseph Schmidt On the morning of September 11th. but that was soon rectified. 2001. shortly after takeoff. and it was eventually decided that the pilots did practice correct procedure according to the training he had received.000 years would prove to be $0 dismal in terms of the -$1. On September 11 th.000 success. Airbus Industrie Inc. American lost another flight that day as well.000 -$4. Many airlines suffered greatly due to these attacks as understandably. Initial reports said that it was another act of terrorism. but the training was at fault. Unfortunately. an entire closure of the United States Airspace System was put into effect.

It will essentially be “spun-off” to AMR stockholders. as opposed to being owned wholly by the corporation itself. This is when AMR. It wasn’t until 1998 did the brand name “American Eagle” serve as the outward appearance on the airline. Basically. 5 . However.Joseph Schmidt With over 1. dedicated to breast cancer awareness. American Eagle is considered the world’s largest regional air carrier. even with its large size. several carriers have joined the operations to make it the largest operating regional airline in the world. due to changing market trends. the regional airline. Basically.800 flights a day between 159 cities in multiple countries including the United States and Canada. Since the inception of the American Eagle name. AMR has announced that it no longer desires to claim ownership over the airline. the parent company of American Airlines. Eagle will continue to provide regional feed to American Airlines under their nine year contract. but AMR has the right at any time to transfer their ATR and Embraer aircraft to other regional airline companies. acquired the airline as part of their corporation. Pilots stand in front of an American Eagle Embraer-145 aircraft in celebration of its paint scheme. does not provide enough profit to outweigh its cost to the AMR Corporation. Back in the 1980’s. several third-party carriers were flying under contract with American Airlines to serve as “feeders” to major hubs. The first flight operated by “American Eagle” was operated by Metroflight Airlines on November 1st of 1984.

one manufacturer alone could not produce what American needed. it was a huge deal. It was simple.Joseph Schmidt When American purchased TWA airlines in the early part of the last decade. but still stands as the only legacy airline to have avoided bankruptcy. featuring brand new engines as well as “sharklets” to increase fuel efficiency. and much more fuel efficient than the previous “workhorse. With the 460 aircraft ordered. The airline is fighting through some financial troubles at the moment. 2011. Above is the new Airbus A-320neo. American has had a long history in the United States. On July 20th.” The MD-80 has served a great career as being the airline’s major workhorse. When American purchased the MD-80 series aircraft to replace its 727 line. Only time will tell what the future holds for American. as well as the option for 80 more. as it now plans to resize and restructure itself through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However. the airline made an announcement that it would be ordering 460 new aircraft from not just one manufacturer. American has agreed to purchasing 130 of this aircraft. making it the single largest purchase in the history of aviation. The airline purchased over 100 aircraft that were designed to be quieter. it had acquired a large number of its aging aircraft. they have the option for 465 more. but now it is also established itself as a major world carrier. 6 . these aircraft are indeed at the point that their cost to fly is no longer beneficial. but from the two largest commercial aircraft manufacturers.

com/airspace/blogs/orion/archive/2010/11/19/how-the-last-star-wasborn.bp.jpg American Eagle Picture American Airlines Financial information for excel file http://library.htm DC-10 historical research http://www.aspx Tiburzi picture https://fbcdn-profile-a.jpg eagle picture Airbus A320neo Picture American Airlines Logo http://travelpluswine.blogspot.Joseph Schmidt References All historical information and research from September 11th Attacks picture American Airlines “Tails” picture http://en.flightglobal.telegraph.jpg Charles Lindbergh Photograph 7 .