Chronography of Aviation Companies

Page last modified 6/6/2022


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5/3/2020, Flybe Airlines went bankrupt. The airline industry had been harmed by Brexit and climate change concerns, and the coronavirus outbreak was the last straw. There were worries for the future of many British local airports where Flybe made up a significant proportion of the flights.

9/12/2002, America�s second biggest airline, United Airlines, filed for bankruptcy after losing US$ 4 billion over the previous 2 years.

7/11/2001, Sabena airlines went bankrupt after 73 years in business.

15/12/1996, Boeing took over McDonnell-Douglas.

16/3/1996, Dutch aircraft maker Fokker went bankrupt after 77 years in business.

15/3/1995, Jet plane manufacturers Lockheed and Martin merged to become the Lockheed Martin Corporation.

1987, British Airports Authority was privatised.

11/2/1987, British Airways was privatised and floated on the London Stock Exchange.

11/1986, Air Hong Kong was founded.

9/1986, Air Aruba was founded.

5/1986, Uganda Airlines was established.

1985, Friendly Islands Airways (Tonga) was founded.

12/1985, Equatorial (Sao Tome e Principe) was founded.

5/1985, Emirates (United Arab Emirates) was founded.

1984, Virgin Atlantic Airways was founded.

9/1983, Air Caledonie (New Caledonia) was founded.


Freddie Laker

9/2/2006, Freddie Laker, aviation entrepreneur, died.

5/2/1982. Freddie Laker�s Laker Airlines collapsed owing �270 million; 6,000 passengers were stranded.

13/6/1977, Freddie Laker launched Skytrain, the first low-cost carrier.


1981, Air Vanuatu was founded.

7/1981, Air Martinique was founded.

1980, In the UK, British Aerospace was privatised.

1980, Air Marshall Islands was founded.

1/1979, Air Lanka was founded (Sri Lanka).

8/1978, Riyal Swazi National Airlines (Swaziland) was set up.

1977, Air Tungaru (Kiribati) was founded.

1977, British Aerospace was formed.

1977, Kenya Airways was founded.

9/1977, Air Seychelles was founded.

3/1977, Air Tanzania was founded.

1976, Transkei Airways was founded.

10/1976, Turks and Caicos National Airline was founded.

1/1976, Lao Aviation (Laos) was opened.

1975, Air Rwanda was founded,

3/1975, Air Comores was founded.

1974, Air Nippon (Japan) was founded.

12/1974, Cyprus Turkish Airlines was founded.

11/1974, Royal Brunei Airlines was founded.

7/1974, Air Mauritanie (Mauretania) was founded.

7/1974, Ecuatoriana (Ecuador) was founded.

1973, Bahamasair (Bahamas) was founded.

1973, Air Nuigini (Papua New Guinea) was founded.

5/1973, Aero Peru was founded.

3/1973, Air Malta was founded.

1972, British Airways was founded, from a merger of British Overseas Airways (1940) and British European Sirways (1946)

1972, Air Botswana was founded.

1/1972, Biman Bangladesh Airlines was founded.

1/1972, Singapore Air;lines was founded.

1971, Air BVI (British Virgin Islands) was founded,

7/1971, Cameroon Airlines was founded.

4/1971, Air Burundi was founded.

3/1971, Alyemda Air Yemen was founded.

1/1971, Malaysia Airlines was founded.

1/1971, Lesotho Airways was founded.

1970, British Caledonian Airlines was formed when Caledonian (founded 1961) took over British United Airways (formed 1960). In 1987 it was taken over by the newly-privatised British Airways, and reappeared as Caledonian Airways in 1988, a holiday charter company.

1970, Air Guadeloupe was founded.

10/1968, Air Jamaica was founded.

1967, Zambia Airways was founded,

9/1967, Air Rhodesia was formed. It became Air Zimbabwe on 18/4/1980.

6/1967, Air Mauritius was founded.

3/1967, Air Burkina (Burkina Faso) was founded; originally known as Air Volta.

1966, Air Tchad (Chad) was founded.

8/1965, Lina Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) was founded.

31/5/1965. Duty free cigarettes went on sale at Heathrow Airport at �1 for 200.

1964, Jamahirya Libyan Arab Airlines was founded.

1964, Air Malawi was founded.

3/1964, Somali Airlines was founded.

1963, Yemen Airways (North Yemen) was founded.

9/12/1963, Royal Jordanian Airlines was established, on decree by King Hussein.

1962, Air Senegal was founded.

1962, LAP-Paraguayan Airlines was founded,

10/1962, Air Madagascar was founded.

8/1962, Surinam Airways (SLM) was founded.

6/1962, Korean Air (South Korea) was founded.

2/1962, Iran Air was founded.

1961, Luxair (Luxembourg) was founded.

1961, Air Zimbabwe was founded.

1961, Adria Airways (Slovenia) was founded.

6/1961, Air Zaire was founded.

3/1961, Air Afrique (Cote d�Ivoire) was founded.

1960, Air Guinee (Guinea, Africa) was founded.

11/1960, Greenlandair (Greenland) was founded.

1959, China Airlines (Taiwan) was founded.

1959, Polynesian Airlines (Western Samoa) was founded.

8/1959, Thai International (Thailand) was founded.

1958, Nigeria Airways was founded.

12/1958, TACV (Cape Verde) was founded.

7/1958, Ghana Airways was founded.

7/1958, Royal Nepal Airlines was founded.

1957, Olympic Airways (Greece) was founded.

9/1957, Austrian Airlines was founded,

1956, Air Ivoire (Cote d�Ivoire) was founded.

1956, MIAT Air Mongol (Mongolia) was founded.

1/1955, Bakhtar Afghan Airlines was founded.

10/1/1955, Pakistan International Airlines was founded.

1954, Chosonminhang Korean Airways (North Korea) was founded.

6/8/1954, LUFTAG changed its name to Lufthansa.

3/1954, Kuwait Airways was founded.

1953, Air Tahiti was founded.

1953, Royal Air Maroc (Morocco) was founded.

8/1953, Indian Airlines was founded.

6/1/1953, LUFTAG was founded, which later became Lufthansa.

12/1951, All Nippon Airways (Japan) was founded.

1951, Air Gabon was founded.

1/8/1951, Japan Airlines was founded.

3/1950, Garuda Indonesia was founded.

3/1950, Gulf Air (Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Oman) was founded.

1949, Air Algerie (Algeria) was founded.

12/1949, Aerolineas Argentinas was founded.

15/11/1948, The Israeli airline El Al was founded.

1948, Iraqi Airways was founded.

1948, Tunis Air (Tunisia) was founded.

1948, Myanma Airways (Myanmar) was founded (known as the Union of Burma Airways until 1972).

1948, Air China was created, when the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) was broken up.

1947, Air Ceylon was founded.

1947, Sudan Airways was founded.

1947, JAT Jugoslav Airlines (Yugoslavia) was formed.

1947, Cyprus Airways (Cyprus) was founded.

1947, Manx Airlines was founded.

7/1947, Balkan Bulgarian Airlines was founded.

25/5/1947, Pacific Overseas Airlines (Siam) was founded.

4/1947, Air Pacific (Fiji) was founded.

1946,Air India was founded.

1946, Namib Air (Namibia) was founded.

1946, Syrian Arab Airlines was founded.

1946, Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) was founded.

1946, SAS, Scandinavian Airways Systems, was formed by the amalgamation of AB Aerotransport (Sweden), DDL (Denmark) and DNL (Norway). Cathay Pacific Airways was founded in Hong Kong. IATA (international Air Transport Association) was set up.

15/9/1946, Alitalia (Aerolinee Italiane Internaziolali) was formed.

9/9/1946, Trans Australia Airlines made its first flight, from Melbourne to Sydney. The government-owned carrier changed its name to Australian Airlines in 1986, and then was merged with Qantas in 1993.

1/8/1946, British European Airways, BEA, was formed.

29/7/1946, Air India was formed by a reorganisation of Tata Air Lines.

3/1946, Malev Hungarian Airlines was founded.

1945, Australian Airlines was founded.

1945, Saudia (Saudi Arabia) was founded.

1945, SAHSA (Honduras) was founded.

1945, LACSA (Costa Rica) founded.

1945, Aviateca (Guatemala) was founded.

12/1945, Ethiopian Airlines was founded.

3/1945, TAP Air Portugal was founded,

1944, Dominicana (Dominican Republic) was founded.

6/1943, Aerovias Venezolanas (Venezuela) was founded.

3/1941, Philippine Air Lines was founded.

1940, Trinidad and Tobago Airways was founded.

1/4/1940, Imperial Airways merged with British Airways to become British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

1939, Air New Zealand was founded.

1939, TAAG Angola Airlines was founded.

1939, Guyana Airways was founded.

1938, British Midland airline began as a flying school near Derby; after World War Two it started to run charter flights, and its first scheduled service, to the Channel Islands, commenced in 1953. By then it was known as Derby Airways, changing to British Midland in 1964. It started international flights in 1967.

1937, Air Canada was founded.

1937, Icelandair (Iceland) was founded.

11/1936, Pluna (Uruguay) was founded.

8/1936, LAM (Mozambique) was founded.

27/5/1936. Aer Lingus made its first commercial flight, from Dublin to Bristol.

1935, The Hawker Siddeley Aircraft Company was formed in 1935, when Hawker Aircraft took over JD Siddely and other companies.

2/1934, South African Airways (SAA) was founded.

1/1934, Aero Mexico was founded.

30/8/1933, Air France was created by the merger of five French airlines (Air Orient, Compagnie G�n�rale A�ropostale, Soci�t� G�n�rale de Transport A�rien (SGTA), Air Union and Compagnie Internationale de Navigation (CIDNA).

5/1933, THY Turkish Airlines was formed.

7/6/1932, EgyptAir airlines was founded, then known as Misr Airwork.

7/1931, United Airlines (USA) was founded.

26/3/1931, Swissair was created, from a merger between Balair and Ad Astra Aero.

16/7/1930, TWA (Trans World Airlines) was founded.

25/1/1930, American Airways (American Airlines since 1934) was founded.

1929, Cubana (Cuba) was founded.

1929, Hawaiian Airlines was founded.

1929, The China National Aviation Corporation was formed, largely financed by the USA.

22/10/1929, The Brazilian airline Panair do Brasil began operation as NYRBA do Brasil S.A.

3/1929, LAN-Chile was founded.

1/1/1929. The Polish airline, LOT was founded.

18/1/1928, The first passenger flight by Pan-American Airlines,

1927, Braniff Airlines wasfounded (closed 1982).

1927, Iberia (Spain) was founded.

1927, Varig (Brazil) was founded.

14/3/1927, Founding of Pan-American World Airways (Pan-Am) to carry airmails between Key West (Florida) and Havana (Cuba).

15/1/1927, Founding of the Boeing Air Transport Company, to carry airmail between San Francisco and Chicago.

1926, Eastern Airlines was founded.

6/1/1926. The German airline Lufthansa was founded.

9/1925, Lloyd Aero Boliviano (Bolivia) was founded.

1924, Delta Airlines was founded.

1/4/1924. Britain�s national airline, Imperial Airways, was created by amalgamating four smaller aviation companies. These were Handley Page Transport, Daimler Airway, Instone Airline and British Marine Air Navigation. These four companies were unprofitable, and the government realised that, as in other countries, they way forward was a national carrier, with strong financial support from public funds.

1923, The Ukranian Air Transport Company was founded. It provided both passenger and cargo servoces between Moscow, Kharkhov, Odessa and the Donbass.

1923, Ceskoslovenska Aerolinie (Czechoslovakia) was set up.

1923, Tajik Air was set up.

11/1923, Finnair airline was set up.

23/5/1923, Sabena airline Belgium, was set up.

1/3/1923, The Czechoslovak national airline, CSA, was set up.

9/2/1923, The Soviet national airline, now called Aeroflot, was established; then known as Dobrolet.

7/1921, Mexicana Airlines (Mexico) was founded.

11/1920, QANTAS, Australian airline, was set up.

17/5/1920. KLM, the national airline of The Netherlands, began its first scheduled service, between Amsterdam and London.See 7/10/1919.

7/10/1919, KLM, the Dutch national airline, the oldest established air carrier, was established.It began flights on 17/5/1920.

15/7/1916, Edward Boeing (1881-1956) set up the Pacific Aero Products Company in Seattle. It was renamed as Boeing in 1917.

26/8/1917, Lord King of Wartnaby, Chairman of British Airways, was born (died 12/7/2005).

16/11/1909, The first aviation enterprise in the world was founded. It was the Deutsche Luftschiffahrts AG, better known as DELAG.

26/6/1902, William P Lear, founder of the Lear Jet Corporation, was born.


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