XJRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2345 posts, RR: 52 Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 13413 times:
To get technical on you for a second...when flying IFR you have Victor Airways that lead you from point to point. But Im sure its something as simple as US airways sounds like a brand and US Airlines sounds like a group of them.
N867bx From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 339 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 13360 times:
Many of the older airlines started out with a different name. (American airways, Northwest airways, western air express, Eastern air transport, Delta air service, etc.) . I can't remember why the name change, but it was some legal technicality that forced companies to form new corporations. This would explain the slightly different names. I should remember why this all took place but college was 12 years ago. Perhaps a younger historian or someone with a better memory can tell us the why's of all of this.
Tsully From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 651 posts, RR: 5 Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 13233 times:
Not sure if this is entirely true, but I've always thought that the term "airlines" resulted from the many airline mergers of yesteryear. Back before United Airlines existed, it was a single mail operator...with time, mergers occurred and I believe the plural form was introduced: United Airlines. If you trace the early history of many US carriers, you'll find that they had different names (ie Northwest Airways) until these mergers started in the late teens (1919 and so forth).
So when XYZ Airways and ABC Airways merged, you got AAA Airlines. That might serve to explain the early origin of the term "Airlines", but the usage of "Airways" vs. "Airlines" today is highly arbitrary I think. Just look at US Airways...formerly US Air. Today, air carriers largely pick whatever sounds better from a marketing standpoint. As someone said, I think US Air stayed away from ever branding themselves US Airlines because it sounds like multiple airlines. I guess the same could be said of American Airlines, but the public is so conditioned towards recognizing AA as a single entity that it is not a problem.
Hope that helps.
I love America. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle, but I'd rather be a dog in New York City than a prince in Riyadh.