American Airlines (AA), which operates nearly 6,700 flights a day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries, including Edinburgh to New York, is celebrating 90 years of aviation this month.
AA, which lost two of its aircraft (and many more travellers) during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, began its 90-year commercial aviation history on 15 April 1926 when legendary aviator Charles A. Lindbergh the chief pilot of Robertson Aircraft Corporation, stowed a bag of mail in his DH-4 biplane and took off from Chicago, headed to St. Louis. Nine decades later, Robertson is counted as one of the many airlines that would eventually make up what is now the world’s largest carrier – AA.
AA’s chairman and CEO Doug Parker said: “American is 100,000 strong and innovating every day in large and small ways. Working in this industry is a noble profession, and working for American is a special calling. It has been a terrific 90 years for our airline and our best days lie ahead.”
AA was the first airline to introduce non-stop transcontinental travel in 1953 and the first airline to hire an African American commercial pilot, Dave Harris, in 1964. The company invented loyalty programs when it introduced AAdvantage in 1981, and American merged with US Airways to regain its place as the world’s largest carrier in 2013.
To celebrate AA’s 90th birthday, customers on AA flight 90 from Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow enjoyed a special send-off celebration with a special treat from Chicago’s world famous Garrett Popcorn Shops® and a commemorative photo album.