The first ever airline (DELAG) was operated by the Zeppelin airship company and started operations in 1908 using their own airships. The first airline route flown by aeroplanes was between Tampa Bay and St Petersburg Florida in 1914 using a single Benoist flying boat. The oldest surviving airline still operating under its original name is KLM, founded in 1919. I refuse to accept that British Airways is any older than April 1974, the day it officially came into existence. Granted, some of BA's ancestors date back to 1919 but the route from 1919 to 1974 is long and convoluted.