The Rise Of Major Airlines Since 1929


The aviation industry has come a long way since the first commercial flight in 1914. Over the years, major airlines have been established and have played a significant role in shaping the global economy. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history of major airlines since 1929.

The Beginning

The year 1929 marked the birth of the first major airline, American Airways. It was founded by Charles Lindbergh and provided air mail service between New York and Chicago. The airline grew rapidly and soon expanded its services to other cities in the United States.

The Golden Age of Aviation

The 1930s and 1940s were known as the Golden Age of Aviation. During this period, major airlines such as Pan American Airways, Trans World Airlines, and United Airlines were established. These airlines offered luxurious services such as in-flight meals, comfortable seats, and entertainment.

The Jet Age

The 1950s and 1960s saw the introduction of jet-powered commercial airplanes. This era was known as the Jet Age, and major airlines such as Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines, and Northwest Airlines embraced this new technology. The introduction of jets allowed airlines to offer faster and more efficient services.

The 1970s and 1980s

The 1970s and 1980s were a period of change for major airlines. Deregulation of the airline industry in 1978 allowed new airlines to enter the market, leading to increased competition. Major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines had to adapt to these changes by offering lower fares and more routes.

The Global Expansion

In the 1990s, major airlines began to expand globally. Airlines such as British Airways, Air France, and Lufthansa established partnerships with other airlines to offer seamless travel experiences to passengers. These partnerships also allowed airlines to offer more routes and destinations.

The Low-Cost Revolution

The early 2000s saw the rise of low-cost airlines such as Southwest Airlines, Ryanair, and EasyJet. These airlines offered no-frills services at lower prices, challenging the traditional business model of major airlines. Major airlines responded by establishing their own low-cost subsidiaries, such as Delta Air Lines’ Song and United Airlines’ Ted.

Recent Developments

In recent years, major airlines have faced new challenges such as increased competition from low-cost airlines, rising fuel costs, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines such as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have invested in new technologies such as biometric screening and sustainable aviation fuel to reduce their environmental impact.

The Future of Major Airlines

The future of major airlines looks promising, with new technologies and collaborations on the horizon. The introduction of supersonic commercial airplanes and the development of electric and hybrid aircraft will revolutionize air travel. Major airlines will have to adapt to these changes to remain competitive in the industry.


Major airlines have played a significant role in the history of aviation since 1929. From the Golden Age of Aviation to the Low-Cost Revolution, major airlines have adapted to changes in the industry to provide the best services to their passengers. As we look to the future, major airlines will continue to innovate and collaborate to provide safe, efficient, and sustainable air travel.