57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2586 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 22 hours ago) and read 1235 times:
My view is that it was generally correct concerning the airline figures. Don't know for certain about the litigation end of it, but Hughes was very much hands on with TWA. Hughes brought Hollywood flair to the airline's promotion but created some problems. He was known to requisition company aircraft for his personal use at the last minute, creating problems for Dispatch (once he tied a Connie up in the Bahamas for a month, along with a paid TWA flight engineer). Other problems were that TWA didn't own its aircraft-Hughes Toolco did and the airline ended up being stuck dealing with that one lessor even after Hughes left the airline. Also, while other airlines operated the improved Douglas DC-6 and -7 series, Hughes insisted on sticking with the Constellation.
As for Pan American and Juan Trippe, they did own the foreign skies and everyone knew it. Trippe's extensive business connections and air mail contracts provided the basis for his expansion into developing markets. In many cases, Pan Am was the only airline in these markets and would remain so until after WWII. After the end of the war, other airlines began appearing and fighting for a piece of the action. This slowly and inevitably weakened Pan Am, which was not entirely used to such competition. Had the airline been better managed and realigned after Trippe's death, it may well have survived. TWA always was the small fry compared to Pan Am.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."