Airline History  
1980  
1 January 1980

Air UK was incorporated after the merger of British Island Airways and Air Anglia

UK
7 January 1980Air Ulster ceased operationsUK 
7 January 1980

National Airlines acquisition was completed with Pan American taking over the National Airlines fleet and route network

USA
1 February 1980PATI (Philippine Aerotransport) ceased operationsPhilippines
14 February 1980Japan Air Lines begin commercial operations with the highest-capacity airliner ever put into scheduled service, conducting the inaugural flight of B.747SRJapan
28 March 1980Orion began operations with three B.737-200s (>Thomson Airways)UK
28 March 1980First flight of the British Aerospace JetstreamUK
1 April 1980Aircraft Innsbruck adopts the title Tyrolean Airways when scheduled services beginAustria
2 April 1980Air Zimbabwe was renamed from Air Zimbabwe Rhodesia after IndependenceZimbabwe
7 April 1980PEOPLExpress was formedUSA
17 April 1980Airborne Expressis established (>ABX Air) USA
1 June 1980

Trans-Central Airlines was reformed from Air Central of Enid, Oklahoma, and began operations

USA
 7 June 1980

The first transpolar flight of a commercial airline. It was accomplished by an Aerolineas Argentinas B.747

Argentina
13 June 1980Red Baron Air ceased operations prior to rename (>Florida Commuter Airlines >Southern Airlines)USA
16 June 1980AeroCondor formed ceased operationsColombia
26 June 1980Iran Aseman Airlines was formed by the merger of 4 airlines (Air Taxi, Hoor Asseman, Pars Air & Air Service)Iran
17 July 1980Cathay Pacific begin a Hong Kong-London serviceHong Kong
24 July 1980Florida Commuter Airlines, founded 11Jun1979 as Red Baron Air, received its AOCUSA
9 September 1980Island Air start operations as Princeville AirwaysUSA
30 September 1980Seaboard World Airlines, founded on 11Sep1946 & started operations as Seaboard & Western Airlines on 10May1947, ceased on this dateUSA
12 October 1980Mesa Airlines commence operationsUSA
9 November 1980The last commercial flight (DA8874) of Dan-Air's DH Comet 4C (G-BDIW)UK
11 December 1980First flight of A300 with digital autopilotFrance
19 December 1980New York Air began airline operationsUSA
20 December 1980Aero Lloyd was established (+>XL Airways (Germany))Germany
26 December 1980Aeroflot introduces the Ilyushin Il-86 into service on its Moscow-Tashkent routeUSSR
1981  
3 January 1981Pan Am made its final B.707 flightUSA
7 January 1981A B.747 of CAAC lands at JFK, marking the first time since 1949 that a flight from mainland China to the US was performedChina
20 January 1981Vayudoot was founded (>Air India)India
23 February 1981 AIRES Colombia launched services (>Lan Colombia)Colombia
26 January 1981Vayudoot began operationsIndia
2 March 1981Japan Air Lines was the first airline to use a computerised flight simulator to train its crewsJapan
5 March 1981Mountain West Airlines ceased operationsUSA
28 March 1981Dornier Do 228-100 first flightGermany
29 March 1981British Airways made its last Vickers VC10 flightUK
31 March 1981Islena Regional Airlines operations startHonduras
5 April 1981Druk Air was foundedBhutan
6 April 1981Air California was rebranded as AirCal (>American Airlines)USA
15 April 1981Kabo Air, established in Feb1980 by Dr. Alhaji Muhammadu Adamu Dankabo, restarted operationsNigeria
30 April 1981The original PeoplExpress Airlines commenced operationsUSA
17 May 1981Corsair was founded as Corse Air InternationalFrance
18 May 1981Air Bahama, started as International Air Bahama, ceased operations Bahamas
22 May 1981Atlantic Air, founded in 1979, but did not start operations until this date  (BEX >Envoy Air)USA
30 June 1981Augsburg Airways, founded in 1980 as Interot A.S., restarted operationsGermany
1 July 1981

Corse Air International, formed on 17May1981, restarted operations (>Corsair International)

France
2 July 1981Lan Peru restarted operationsPeru
15 July 1981 Fiji Link operations restarted operations as Sunflower AirlinesFiji
31 August 1981Líneas Aéreas de Nicaragua, operating as LANICA, was the national airline from 1945 until it ceased on this date. It was succeeded by AeronicaNicaragua
1 September 1981Horizon Air, founded in 1981, started operationsUSA
3 September 1981First flight of the British Aerospace 146UK
4 September 1981Ed Beauvais, CEO, founded the company that would become America West USA
26 September 1981First flight of the B.767-200USA
12 October 1981Great Lakes Airlines began scheduled services with flights between Spencer, Iowa, and Des Moines, IowaUSA
1982 Top of Page
5 February 1982Laker Airways operated its last flightUK
13 January 1982The prototype B.757 rolled out of the Renton factoryUSA
16 February 1982The first production Airbus Industrie A310 was rolled out at the factory in Toulouse, destined for SwissairFrance
19 February 1982The first B.757 took to the air on its maiden flightUSA
1 April 1982Air France flew the Concorde over to Rio de Janeiro and Caracas, Venezuela for the last timeFrance
2 April 1982Newly-formed British Island Airways made its first revenue flight from Gatwick to Catania in ItalyUK
3 April 1982First flight of the Airbus A.310France
7 April 1982Trans Adria merges into JAT (Yugoslav Airlines)Yugoslavia
12 May 1982Braniff International ceased all operations, thus ending 54 years of serviceUSA
17 June 1982Horizon Air acquires Air OregonUSA
1 July 1982Air Creebec restarted operationsCanada
27 July 1983

The EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop made its maiden flight

Brazil
13 August 1982Tower Air was formed by Zev Melamid, Mordechi Gill, Morris Nachtomi, and Sam Fondlier as equal shareholdersUSA
19 August 1982United became the first carrier to operate the B.767, taking its first delivery of B.767-200sUSA
31 October 1982Continental merged with Texas International dissolving TI), offering service to four continents (North and South America, Asia and Australia)USA
2 November 1982

Last commercial Air New Zealand DC10 flight arrives in Auckland from Hong Kong

New Zealand
4 November 1982Pan Am inaugurates service from Los Angeles to Sydney; at 7,487 non-stop miles (11,979 km), it was the longest non-stop flight in the worldUSA
9 November 1982Altair Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy & ceased operationsUSA
23 November 1982ZAS Airline, founded by the two brothers Sherif and Emir Zarkani as a freight airline, started operationsEgypt
2 December 1982 AeroCaribbean, established in 1982 as Empresa Aero, started operations (>>Cubana)Cuba
1983 Top of Page
1 January 1983Eastern Air Lines‘ first revenue B.757 flightUSA
5 January 1983United Airlines began the first scheduled nonstop service between the continental United States and MauiUSA
25 January 1983

First prototype of the Saab-Fairchild SF-340 made its maiden flight

Sweden
30 January 1983Sun Country Airlines began operationsUSA
31 January 1983McDonnell Douglas launched the MD-83USA
9 February 1983British Airways began B.757 serviceUK
11 February 1983Druk Air inaugurated scheduled revenue flights with Flight 101 departing Paro for KolkataBhutan
4 April 1983Gatari Air Service operations startedIndonesia
11 April 1983 Trans States Airlines operations started as Resort AirUSA
22 April 1983 Finnair became the first airline to operate a non-stop service from Europe to JapanFinland
May 1983Dan-Air became the first to put the four-engined BAe 146 regional jetliner into commercial serviceUK
16 May 1983Tol Air restarted operations (>Four Star Air Cargo)Puerto Rico
26 May 1983

PEOPLExpress restarted flights from Newark to London (>Continental >UAL)

USA
3 June 1983Inter (Intercontinental de Aviación) operations startColombia
19 June 1993Copa Airlines restarted operations as Aero RepublicaColombia
20 June 1983First flight of the Bombardier Dash 8Canada
30 June 1983Berry Aviation operations restartedUSA
1 July 1983Noosa Air was integrated into SunState AirlinesAustralia
1 August 1983America West Airlines began flying, from Phoenix, Arizona (>US Airways)USA
16 September 1983Aero Leon, founded in May1978, had it's AOC removed on this dateMexico
18 September 1983Aero Leon, founded in May1978 by the Captain Eucario León, was closed downMexico
10 October 1983Air Link International Airways was establishedPhilippines
11 November 1983CASA CN-235 first flight Spain
2 December 1983Great Barrier Airlines started operations (>Barrier Air)New Zealand
3 December 1983Aircalin, formed in 1983, started operationsNew Caledonia
9 December 1983Delta Air Lines received the 1,000th production B.737 at Boeing's headquartersUSA
1984 Top of Page
1 February 1984Netherlines was foundedNetherlands
16 January 1984Air U.S. name changed to ExcellairUSA
17 February 1984Air Europa was founded as Air EspañaSpain
1 March 1984 Korean Air Lines was renamed to Korean AirSouth Korea
1 March 1984Braniff operated its first flight (from Dallas/Fort Worth to New Orleans)USA
2 March 1984Airbus launched A320France
6 April 1984The last passenger B.727 was delivered to USAirUSA
12 May 1984
The Airbus A310 entered service with Air France.
France
11 June 1984Midwest Express (>MidWest >Frontier Airlines) restarted operationsUSA
15 June 1984Nightexpress operations startGermany
15 June 1984Saab 340 entered service with CrossairSwitzerland
22 June 1984Richard Branson's airline, Virgin Atlantic, began services to North America, using B.747sUK
30 June 1984Air Link International Airways restarted operationsPhilippines
30 June 1984Aerolineas SOSA, formed in 1984, restarted operationsHonduras
3 July 1984Air Florida suspended all their flights after going bankrupt (>>Midway Airlines) USA
25 July 1984

Xiamen Airlines Co. Ltd was established jointly by Civil Aviation Administration of China and Fujian Provincial Government

China
15 August 1984Skybus started operations as Isles of Scilly SkybusUK
16 August 1984First flight ATR 42, French-Italian twin-turboprop, short-haul regional airliner.France
28 September 1984Sun Aire Lines, founded as Borrego Springs Airlines in 1968 but was renamed soon after, operated its final service (>>Skywest Airlines)USA
1 November 1984American Eagle Airlines began operationsUSA
15 December 1984 Transafrik International (Angola) operations started in São Tomé as TransafrikSão Tomé
1985 Top of Page
8 January 1985Netherlines restarted scheduled flightsNetherlands
13 February 1985Qantas New Zealands' first scheduled flight as Newmans AirNew Zealand
17 February 1985Ryukyu Air Commuter operations startJapan
25 February 1985London European Airways, formed in 1984, start servicesUK
25 March 1985Emirates Airlines was established by the Dubai governmentUAE
22 April 1985PanAm sells its Pacific division to United Air Lines for $750 million; including all its  Pacific routes & B.747SP fleetUSA
28 April 1985Continental inaugurated its first scheduled service to Europe with flights from Houston to London/Gatwick (>>UAL)USA
24 May 1985Dragonair was established in Hong KongHong Kong
15 June 1985Express Airlines 1 restarted operations (>Endeavor Air)USA 
25 June 1985Southwest Airlines acquires Muse Air, with it continuing to operate as a separate airline until February 1986 when its name changed to TranStarUSA
9 July 1985

The EMB 120 Brasilia received its certification from the Aerospace Technical Center (CTA)

Brazil
15 July 1985Ryanair operations restartedIreland
24 July 1985Dragonair obtained AOCHong Kong
28 July 1985Dragonair, established in Hong Kong on 24May1985, restarted operationsHong Kong
21 August 1985Sir Freddie Laker accepts a £8 million in a settlement with British Airways. Laker had sued twelve airlines for conspiring to drive Laker Airways out of business

UK

5 October 1985People Express Airlines acquires Frontier on this date & continued operating it as an independent entityUSA
10 October 1985Presidential Airways, founded in 1985 by Harold J. (Hap) Pareti (formerly PEOPLExpress) as a low-cost carrier' commenced services on this dateUSA
25 October 1985First flight for Emirates, was EK600 operating Dubai–KarachiUAE
1 November 1985 Flight Express, started as Chapman Air in May1978, but Jim Chapman sold his company & was renamed as Flight ExpressUSA
8 November 1985Centurion Cargo was founded as Challenge Air CargoUSA
15 November 1985Centurion Cargo, founded on 08Nov1985 as Challenge Air Cargo, restarted operationsUSA
3 December 1985ATR-42 entered service with Air LittoralFrance
28 December 1985First flight of the Fokker 50Netherlands
1986 Top of Page
23 January 1986

Northwest Orient Airlines announces an agreement with Republic Airlines for Northwest to acquire Republic for $884 million

USA
31 January 1986Boeing completes purchase of de Havilland CanadaUSA
11 February 1986United completes its purchase of Pan Am’s Pacific division for $715 million and began service to an additional 11 cities for a total of 13 cities in 10 Pacific Rim countriesUSA
13 February 1986

Muse Air changed its name to Tran-Star (>Southwest)

USA
1 March 1986Trans World Airlines acquire Ozark Airlines USA
3 March 1986ANA restarted scheduled international flights Japan
12 April 1986City Center Airlines was dissolvedCanada
15 April 1986Suckling Airways operations start (>>Loganair)

UK

26 April 1986Suckling Airways restarted scheduled operations (>>Loganair)UK
1 May 1986Piedmont bought Empire Airlines (>US Airways) in 1985 and merges them into itselfUSA
17 May 1986Zhongyan Airlines was formed (>>China Southern Airlines)China
1 June 1986SAT Flug (Special Air Transport) was renamed to GermaniaGermany
28 June 1986Airlines of S.A. are taken over by Ansett & renamed Ansett Airlines of SAAustralia
30 June 1986Air Cargo Carriers, founded in 1986 by Jim Germek, restarted operationsUSA
30 June 1986Air Chathams operations restartedNew Zealand
30 June 1986 Bangkok Airways restarted operations as Sahakol AirThailand
30 June 1986Air Atlanta Icelandic operations restartedIceland
21 July 1986Eastern Air Lines submits a reorganization plan to creditorsUSA
4 August 1986TAA (Trans Australia Airlines) ceased operations (>Qantas)Australia
6 August 1986First flight of the British Aerospace ATP

UK

15 August 1986Avianca Ecuador began operations as AeroGal Ecuador
16 August 1986Cook Islands International begin operations with a flight from Sydney to RarotongaNew Zealand
24 August 1986

Frontier Airlines (>UAL) ceased operations

USA
28 August 1986Frontier Airlines, having ceased operations on 24Aug1986 & filed for bankruptcy on this dateUSA
19 September 1986Sichuan Airlines was formed on this date & officially commenced operations on 14Jul1988 as Sichuan Provincial AirlinesChina
30 September 1986Transamerica ceased operationsUSA
30 September 1986Republic Airlines, formed by merger of North Central & Southern on 01Jul1979, merges into Northwest on this dateUSA
26 October 1986Ozark Air Lines, founded on 01Sep1943, ceased operations (>>TWA >>American Airlines)USA
21 November 1986Air Europa, founded on 17Feb1984 as Air España, launched IT charter services with a flight from London Gatwick to TenerifeSpain
30 November 1986Fokker 100 first flightNetherlands
2 December 1986PWA Corporation announced its intention to purchase Canadian Pacific Airlines for $300 million, effective 01Feb1987Canada
15 December 1986 National Airlines operations started as Murray AirUSA
18 December 1986Eagle Aviation restarted operationsKenya
19 December 1986

Western Air Lines became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta

USA
1987 Top of Page
29 January 1987

Aeromar was established as Transportes Aeromar

Mexico
1 February 1987

Continental acquires New York Air

USA
1 February 1987Pacific Western Airlines ceased operationsCanada
1 February 1987Continental Airlines acquired People Express Airlines which had acquired Frontier Airlines the year before. Both merged into Continental on this dayUSA
22 February 1987A320 roll-out and first flightFrance
March 1987

Canadian Airlines was launched, CP Air, EPA, Nordair and PWA are amalgamated to form the new airline

Canada
1 April 1987

Operations of Western and Delta officially merge

USA
11 April 1987Air 2000 restarted operationsUK
26 April 1987Canadian Airlines International flew from this date until it's merger with Air Canada on 19Mar2001Canada
29 April 1987LTE International Airways was formedSpain
1 May 1987Paramount Airways, formed in 1986 as Diamond Airways, restarted operationsUK
19 May 1987

Pacific Southwest Airlines of San Diego became a wholly-owned subsidiary of USAir Group

USA
25 May 1987Flight West Airlines was established by Sir Dennis Buchanan (+>Alliance Airlines)Australia
30 June 1987Airlines PNG operations restarted as Milne Bay AirPapua New Guinea
30 June 1987Angola Air Charter, formed by TAAG in 1987, restarted operationsAngola
30 June 1987Ace Air Cargo restarted operations as Yutana AirlinesUSA
9 August 1987

TranStar (Southwest’s wholly owned, but independently operated, subsidiary) permanently ceased all airline operations

USA
15 August 1987bmi Regional, formed in 1987, started operations as Business AirUK
9 September 1987Royale Airlines files for bankruptcy Chapter 11 on this date & later it was changed to Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Feb1989USA
15 October 1987 Malaysian Airlines System Berhad was rebranded as Malaysia AirlinesMalaysia
31 October 1987British Airways accepts the airline's first women pilotsUK
1 November 1987LTE International Airways, formed on 29Apr1987, started operationsSpain
5 November 1987Aeromar started operations as Transportes AeromMexico
14 November 1987Air Transat began airline operationsCanada
15 November 1987Airkenya Express operations start as Airkenya Aviation from the merger of Air Kenya and Sunbird AviationKenya
1 December 1987 Emerald Airways, was established & start operations the same year as Janes AviationUK
30 December 1987 Flagship Airlines was established as Nashville Eagle (>>Envoy Air)USA
31 December 1967ASA (African Safari Airways), formed on 01Aug1967, started operationsKenya
1988 Top of Page
1 January 1988Pelangi Air restarted operationsMalaysia
26 January 1988

Dual ceremonies celebrate the simultaneous roll-out of the B.737-400 and the B.747-400

USA
28 January 1988Aboitiz Air Transport restarted operations (>2Go)Philippines
1 February 1988Titan Airways operations startUK
1 February 1988UPS (United Parcel Service) was foundedUSA
4 February 1988Air Hong Kong commenced operationsHong Kong
17 February 1988Asiana Airlines was established in Seoul as Seoul Air InternationalSouth Korea
19 February 1988

The first B.767-300ER was delivered to American Airlines

USA
19 February 1988First flight of the B.737-400USA
20 February 1988British Midland operated its final Viscount flight, 21 years after the airline had first operated the typeUK
28 March 1988Atlantic Airways first flight from its base on the island of Vágar, to CopenhagenFaroe Islands
28 March 1988

Air France, launch customer for the A.320 takes delivery of the first aircraft

France
29 March 1988Spantax ceased all operations, leaving some 7,000 passengers around Europe strandedSpain
April 1988Air Liberté began operationsFrance
1 April 1988

Toa Domestic Airline changed its name to Japan Air System

Japan
1 April 1988

Thai Airways International merges with Thai Airways Company (TAC)

Thailand
8 April 1988Pacific Southwest Airlines shuts down operations and was integrated to USAir (>American)USA
29 April 1988First flight of the B.747-400USA
2 May 1988 Total Linhas Aereas was established on as Total Taxi AéreoBrazil
24 May 1988British Airways takes over British CaledonianUK
25 June 1988China Eastern Airlines was established under the CAAC Huadong AdministrationChina
30 June 1988Blue1 restarted operations as Air BotniaFinland
1 July 1988CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China), the Chinese state airline, changed its name to become Air ChinaChina
1 July 1988China Southern Airlines was establishedChina
9 July 19882Go was formed as Aboitiz Air TransportPhilippines
14 July 1988Sichuan Airlines officially commenced operations as Sichuan Provincial AirlinesChina
25 July 1988TAP Express was incorporated as PGA (Portugalia Airlines)Portugal
5 September 1988Sky Bahamas started operations as Sky UnlimitedBahamas
7 September 1988PBA (Provincetown-Boston Airlines), founded by John C. Van Arsdale on 30Nov1949, was fully consolidated in to Texas AirUSA
9 September 1988Air France and Lufthansa establish Euroberlin FranceFrance
28 September 1988
First flight of the Ilyushin Il-96
USSR
1 October 1988Aerovias de Mexico was renamed  to AeroMexicoMexico
27 October 1988First flight of the ATR 72France
1 November 1988Air Tindi operations startedCanada
7 November 1988Air France and Lufthansa established Euroberlin on 09Sep1998 & it commenced operations on this dateFrance
14 November 1988Wasawings lost its flying licence after a second crash which killed 5 peopleFinland
December 1988Asiana began operations as Seoul Air InternationalSouth Korea
14 December 1988Hi Fly was founded as Air LuxorPortugal
15 December 1988Pan Air, established in Madrid in 1987, start operations (>ASL Airlines Spain)Spain
21 December 1988Antonov An-225 Mriya first flightUSSR
22 December 1988

Kel Air begin operations

France
23 December 1988Asiana start operations as Seoul Air InternationalSouth Korea
1989 Top of Page
1 January 1989 Air Corsica was established as Compagnie Corse MediterraneeFrance
2 January 1989Tupolev Tu-204 first flightUSSR
19 January 1989American Airlines purchases the Central and South American routes owned by struggling Eastern Air LinesUSA
19 January 1989Canadian Airlines International acquires Wardair, Canada's third largest carrier, for $250 million (>>Air Canada)Canada
26 January 1989Orion ceased operations (>Thomson Airways)UK
31 January 1989

Northwest was launch customer of the world’s largest commercial airliner, the B.747-400

USA
1 February 1989PeopleExpress flew its last service from Newark, New Jersey, to New York (>>Continental Airlines)USA
9 February 1989B.747-400 entered service with Northwest AirlinesUSA
21 February 1989Tradewinds restarted scheduled services after being renamed from Tradewinds Charters (>SilkAir)Singapore
22 February 1989Alsavia was createdFrance
9 March 1989Eastern Air Lines files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protectionUSA
23 March 1989EasyJet Switzerland, founded in 1988 as TEA Basel, start operationsSwitzerland
26 March 1989Binter Canarias, established on 18 February 1988, restarted operationsSpain
26 March 1989Austrian Airlines began international flights for the first time in almost two decades on a flight from Vienna to New York’s JFKAustria
31 March 1989The Canadian Transportation Agency approved the sale of Wardair to Canadian Airlines International (>Air Canada)Canada
1 April 1989Burma Airways renamed to Myanma Airways following the renaming of the country from Burma to MyanmarMyanmar
15 April 1989DAT (Danish Air Transport) operations startDenmark
17 April 1989Skyway Airlines, The Midwest Express Connection, began flight operationsUSA
26 May 1989Eurofly was establishedItaly
7 June 1989Eastern Shuttle formally became Trump ShuttleUSA
8 June 1989Trump Shuttle restarted operationsUSA
30 June 1989 Berjaya Air restarted operations as Pacific Air CharterMalaysia
30 June 1989Antonov Airlines (Design Beureau) restarted operationsUkraine
30 June 1989 AeroLitoral, formed as Servicios Aereos Litoral in 1988, restarted operations (>Aeromexico Connect)Mexico
15 July 1989Air Freight NZ restarted operationsNew Zealand
1 August 1989CommutAir restarted operationsUSA
7 August 1989Zagal (Zagreb Airlines) was registered (>Croatia Airlines)Yugoslavia
7 August 1989Federal Express (>FedEx) merges Flying Tigers into its operationsUSA
15 August 1989Air Mike Express commenced operationsGuam
3 September 1989Filair, established in 1987 by Captain Dany Philemotte, started operationsDR Congo
11 September 1989SunExpress was founded on this date as a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and LufthansaTurkey
11 October 1989Partnair, founded on 30Jun1971, ceased operationsNorway
29 October 1989 ILG fully integrated Guernsey Airlines into Air Europe ExpressUK
29 November 1989Air Melanesiæ was renamed to Vanair (>>Air Vanuatu)Vanuatu
15 December 1989Independence Air started life as Atlantic Coast AirlinesUSA
16 December 1989Kish Air was established by the Kish Free Zone OrganizationIran
19 December 1989American Airlines purchases the Central and South American routes owned by struggling Eastern Air Lines.USA
30 December 1989 Air Dolomiti was established by the Linee Aeree EuropeeItaly
31 December 1989

Minerve Canada ceased operations

Canada
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