• Keith Collins

The history of American Airlines


American Airlines can trace its history back to the 1926 formation of a company called American Airways. The airline was a combination of a number of small airlines that had started up in the 1920s, including Colonial Air Transport, which was founded in 1925 by Walter T. Varney and Charles Lindbergh. Other airlines included Southern Air Transport, formed in 1927; Transcontinental & Western Air (T&WA), which began operations in 1930; and American Airways Company, which was started by Cyrus R. Smith and Charles A. Lindbergh in 1934. These four airlines were the predecessors of what would become American Airlines.


In 1930, T&WA bought two other small airlines, Maddux Air Lines and Britton-Nelson Airways, extending its reach across the United States. In 1934, American Airways Company merged with T&WA to form what is now known as American Airlines. The newly formed airline quickly became one of the largest in the world, carrying more passengers than any other U.S.-based carrier within just a few years.





During World War II, American Airlines played an important role in transporting troops and supplies across the country and around the world. After the war ended, the airline continued to grow rapidly, adding new routes and destinations both domestically and internationally. In 1953, AA introduced jet service with flights between New York City and Los Angeles—the first regularly scheduled transcontinental jet service in history!


Today, American Airlines is one of the leading carriers in both domestic and international travel—and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon!

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