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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

A 75th Anniversary

Wed Mar 01, 2000 9:25 pm

Today, 75 years ago (March 1st 1925), the first regular, year round scheduled flight began, operated by Ryan (nearly wrote Ryanair there!) from LA to San Diego.

(This was the same company which later built the immortal Spirit of St. Louis).

I Don't Mean To Annoy... But...

Thu Mar 02, 2000 4:06 am

I don't mean to annoy anyone, but the first reguarly-scheduled year-round flight was the London (Croydon) - Paris (Le Bourget) service in 1919, operated by both Air France (with their old name) and a very old ancestor of British Airways.

But the Ryan one may well be the first in the US.



RE: A 75th Anniversary

Thu Mar 02, 2000 4:52 am

According to Airlines of the United States (AKA bible) by R.E.G. Davies (aka God), the first scheduled passenger air service in the US was the St Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line which operated flights between Tampa and St Petersburg. The flights were operated under contract with the City of St Petersburg between Jan 1, 1914 and March 31st 1914. OK well it was not year round service, but it was still the first and it was before those french flights.

According to Mr Davies book, the Ryan flights between San Diego and Los Angeles was "the first regular passenger airline service to be wholly operated over the mainland of the United States, throughout the year". Boy is that a mouthfull.

Pacific Marine Airways had been operating from Wilmington CA to Catalina Island since 1922 but during some times of the year, flights were operated on an on-demand basis.
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:49 am

RE: A 75th Anniversary

Sat Mar 04, 2000 6:29 am

The German Zeppelin company was operating regular passenger flights as early as 1905!
The oldest established current airline is KLM who began operating in 1919.
The BA ancestor who operated the London - Paris flight in 1919 was (I think) Air Transport and Travel Ltd with a converted De Havilland DH-9 bomber. BA tried to claim they were 75 years old in 1994 but I think their claim was rather spurious. The oldest direct ancestor, in my opinion, is Imperial Airways, which was set up in 1924, becoming BOAC in 1940 and (eventually) BA in 1974.

RE: A 75th Anniversary

Sat Mar 04, 2000 12:48 pm

British Airways can claim all it wants. Everyone knows that the oldest airline in the English-speaking world is Qantas which was formed on 16/11/1920 as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited, operating joyrides and some air taxi flights. Their first scheduled flight occurred on 2/11/1922 from Charleville to Cloncurry in outback Queensland. So any airline from the English speaking world that claims it is the oldest had better check it's fact carefully before making silly claims that they are the oldest.

And if I am not mistaken, I think that Avianca is the oldest airline in the Spanish speaking world.
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:49 am

RE: A 75th Anniversary

Mon Mar 06, 2000 3:48 am

Qantas also held the record for never suffering a single passenger fatality in its entire history. Is this still true?


Mon Mar 06, 2000 4:52 am

Yep, that is absolutely true...not a single fatality as a result of a crash, although since WWII only two aircraft have been written off (both fatality free).

An Avro 691 Lancastrian was lost in Dubbo on 7/4/49 and a Lockheed L-1049G Super Connie was lost in Mauritius on 24/8/60.
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 11:11 pm

RE: A 75th Anniversary

Mon Mar 06, 2000 6:26 am

I think the Guinness book of records has KLM as the world's oldest airline - 1911 I seem to remember?

Re: Qantas, at one stage they thought about advertising the fact that they were the "world's safest airline", but they were told that as soon as they did have an accident they would be history.
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:49 am

RE: A 75th Anniversary

Mon Mar 06, 2000 7:23 am

I'm pretty sure KLM's start date is 1919. When you think about it, what could a nationalised airline have been capable of in 1911 given the machinery available at the time. Most aircraft in 1911 had difficulty achieving sustained flight with one person (the pilot) on board at that time. A lot of development went on between 1914 and 1918. Even then, virtually no airlines were commercially viable until the 1930's.

RE: A 75th Anniversary

Mon Mar 06, 2000 7:42 am

Right I'll do a summary
Avianca Is the oldest airline in the spainish area Founded 5 December 1919
First flight 12 September 1920
as SCADTA and changed to Avianca in 1940.
KLM was founded Oct. 1919
and first flew in May 1920.
Qantas was founded November 1920
So KLM is the oldest airline
Aeroflot was started in 1923
and Imperial Airways in March 1924.
So there we go.

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