Air travel has become an integral part of our lives, easily connecting us to different parts of the world. But do you ever wonder about the history of the airlines that make air travel possible? In the United States, several airlines have been in operation for over a century, witnessing the evolution of the aviation industry. These airlines have been through wars, economic downturns, and technological advancements.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the six oldest airlines in the US and their journey through time. From the first commercial airline to the ones that have been around since the early 1900s, these airlines have a rich history worth exploring. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to take a trip through time as we explore the oldest airlines in the US.
6. Southwest Airlines
Founded: March 9, 1967
Fleet Size: 779
Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
photo source: NPR
Southwest Airlines is a major American airline headquartered in Dallas, Texas. It was founded on March 9, 1967, and has become the world’s largest low-cost carrier. The airline operates a fleet of 779 aircraft, primarily Boeing 737s, and serves over 100 destinations in the United States and ten other countries.
Southwest Airlines is known for its low fares and no-frills approach to air travel, focusing on providing a high-quality customer experience. It is consistently ranked among the best airlines in the world for customer service and has received numerous awards for its commitment to safety and reliability.
Did You Know?
The airline is strongly committed to environmental sustainability and has implemented several initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices.
5. Alaska Airlines
Founded: April 14, 1932
Fleet Size: 289
Headquarters: SeaTac, Washington
photo source: Upgraded Points
Alaska Airlines, a major airline company in the United States, has its headquarters in SeaTac, Washington. Founded on April 14, 1932, the airline has expanded its operations to become the fifth-largest airline in the country in terms of passenger traffic.
It operates a fleet of 289 airplanes, mostly Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s, and offers flight services to over 115 destinations in countries like the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
Alaska Airlines is known for providing high-quality customer service, maintaining a punctual flight schedule, and ensuring a strong safety record. Its dedication to offering its customers a comfortable and satisfying travel experience has earned the company numerous awards, including several years of being recognized as the “Best U.S. Airline” by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Did You Know?
Alaska Airlines has established a robust presence in many major airports in the United States, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Portland International Airport.
4. Hawaiian Airlines
Founded: January 30, 1929
Fleet Size: 61
Headquarters: Honolulu, Hawaii
photo source: JetBlue
Hawaiian Airlines is a major American airline headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. The company was founded in 1929 and is one of the oldest U.S. carriers that has continuously operated throughout its history. The airline operates a fleet of 61 aircraft and serves over 30 destinations, mostly in the United States, Asia, and the South Pacific.
Hawaiian Airlines is known for its high-quality customer service and focus on providing passengers with a unique and authentic Hawaiian experience. The airline offers a variety of amenities to its passengers, such as complimentary meals, in-flight entertainment, and comfortable seating options.
Did You Know?
The company also offers inter-island flights within the Hawaiian Islands, connecting Honolulu to other islands such as Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island of Hawaii.
3. American Airlines
Founded: April 15, 1926
Fleet Size: 937
Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas
photo source: CNN
American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world, with a history that dates back to 1926. The airline is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and operates a fleet of over 937 aircraft, making it one of the largest airlines in terms of fleet size. American Airlines serves over 350 destinations in over 50 countries, making it a truly global airline.
In recent years, American Airlines has significantly invested in its fleet, upgrading its aircraft with new amenities such as in-flight Wi-Fi and personal entertainment systems. The company has also introduced new aircraft models, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which offers a more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly option for long-haul flights.
Did You Know?
The company has been recognized as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ employees by the Human Rights Campaign. It has made efforts to increase diversity in its workforce, focusing on hiring more women and people of color.
2. United Airlines
Founded: April 6, 1926
Fleet Size: 891
Headquarters: Willis Tower, Chicago
photo source: USA Today
United Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world, with its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. The company was founded in 1926 and operates a fleet of 891 aircraft, serving over 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. United Airlines is known for its extensive route network and strong presence in major airports throughout the United States and worldwide.
The airline is committed to providing its passengers with high-quality service, focusing on comfort, convenience, and reliability. United Airlines offers a range of amenities to its passengers, including in-flight Wi-Fi, personal entertainment systems, and a variety of food and beverage options.
The airline’s frequent flier program, MileagePlus, has over 100 million members and offers a range of benefits, including upgrades, free flights, and access to exclusive lounges.
Did You Know?
The airline has introduced new aircraft models, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which offers a more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly option for long-haul flights.
1. Delta Air Lines
Founded: March 2, 1925
Fleet Size: 943
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
photo source: TTR Weekly
Delta Air Lines was founded on March 2, 1925 and is the oldest airline in the U.S. It currently operates a fleet of 943 aircraft. Delta Air Lines serves over 325 destinations in more than 50 countries worldwide. Its primary hubs are Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport, and Salt Lake City International Airport.
Delta Air Lines is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance and has codeshare agreements with numerous other airlines. The airline offers various classes of service, including Delta One, First Class, Delta Comfort+, and Main Cabin. Its delta.com website allows customers to book flights, manage their reservations, and access a range of other services and resources.
Did You Know?
Delta Air Lines is known for its industry-leading reliability and customer service and has won numerous awards and accolades for its performance in these areas.