The World's Airlines

Past, Present & Future

1 May 1922Deruluft (Deutsche-Russische Luftverkehrs, "German-Russian Airlines") commenced operations with Moscow-Konigsberg (part of Germany at that time)Germany
1 May 1923

First flight of the Aeroflot international route Moscow – Konigsberg (part of Germany at that time)

1 May 1928Pitcairn Aviation began operations along the Atlantic seaboard as a contract mail-hauler (>Eastern Air Lines in 1934)USA
1 May 1947Malayan Airways started operations (>MAS) Malaya
1 May 1953Chicago and Southern Airlines merges into Delta USA
1 May 1966Jamaica Air Service began service to Miami and New York (>Caribbean Airlines (Trinidad)) Jamaica
1 May 1966
British European Airways opens the first jet service between London Heathrow and Glasgow, using de Havilland Comet 4 Bs (>BA)
1 May 1975Air Iceland, formed in Akureyri by Tryggvi Helgason as Norðurflug, was incorporated as Flugfélag NorðurlandsIceland
1 May 1960Thai Airways Internationals' first revenue flightThailand
1 May 1986Piedmont buys Empire Airlines in 1985 and merges it in (>US Airways)USA
1 May 1987Paramount Airways, formed in 1986 as Diamond Airways, started operationsUK
1 May 1992

Carl Icahn sells TWA’s route authorities from Philadelphia and Baltimore to London to USAir for $50 million

1 May 2000Tower Air suspended all scheduled flight operationsUSA
1 May 2004Duo Airways, established as Maersk Air (UK) goes into administrationUK
1 May 2006SAS Braathens was renamed to SAS NorwayNorway
1 May 2006Song merges into Delta Air Lines USA
1 May 2007Air Sahara was renamed to JetLiteIndia
1 May 2009

Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways are combined as Thomson Airways

1 May 2009Air Fiji ceased operationsFiji
1 May 2011Air Canada Express launched servicesCanada
1 May 2011Iberworld was rebranded to Orbest OrizoniaSpain
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2 May 1944The Alaska Airlines name was adopted from Alaska Star AirlinesUSA
2 May 1952

BOAC flew the world’s first pure jet service. Comet G-ALYP operated from London Airport to Johannesburg via Rome, Beirut, Khartoum, Entebbe and Livingstone

2 May 1988 Total Linhas Aereas was established on as Total Taxi AéreoBrazil
2 May 1993Modiluft (>Spicejet) started operationsIndia
2 May 1993Hainan Airlines started operations, using B.737-300sChina
2 May 1997Chanchangi Airlines, established on 05Jan1994 by Alhaji Chanchangi, started operationsNigeria
2 May 2007Compass Airlines, formed as Northwest Airlines Cargo, started operationsUSA
2 May 2008 Aloha Air Cargo began operations under new ownership after Aloha Airlines ceased operationsUSA
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3 May 1922

William E. Boeing became Boeing Airplane Co. chairman of the board

3 May 1946 Scindia Line services were resumed after World War II (>Air India)India
3 May 1947

Philippine Airlines started a DC-4 service to Rome and Madrid, thus earning the distinction of being the first airline in Southeast Asia to fly to Europe

3 May 1961The Boeing Airplane Company changed its name to Boeing CompanyUSA
3 May 1962Cruz Airways was formedPhilippines
3 May 1973Chautauqua Airlines was established in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New YorkUSA
3 May 1979Abelag Airways was formed as a charter airline (>Air Belgium) Belgium
3 May 1991Alisarda name was changed to MeridianaItaly
3 May 2003Air China Cargo, formerly the cargo department of Air China was createdChina
3 May 2012Bornholmerflyet launched servicesDenmark
3 May 2012Cimber Sterling ceased operationsDenmark
3 May 2013Saha Airlines flight operations are suspendedIran
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4 May 1959Pilatus PC-6 Porter first flightSwitzerland
4 May 1979Air Europe began operationsUK
4 May 1993First flight of the B.747-400 FreighterUSA
4 May 2005SpiceJet was renamed from Royal Airways 
4 May 2011Virgin Blue became Virgin AustraliaAustralia
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5 May 1924

German airline Deutsche Aero Lloyd establishes a partnership with the Colombian company SCADTA to create Condor Syndikat

5 May 1947

Alitalia (Aereolinee Italiane Internazionali), incorporated in Sep1946, operated its first domestic flight on the Turin – Rome – Catania route

5 May 1962Thomson Airways, formed as Euravia on 01Dec1961, started operationsUK
5 May 1990Aviacsa (Aviacion de Chiapas) was establishedMexico
5 May 1991Tranzair commenced scheduled services New Zealand
5 May 1991Croatia Airlines operated its first service between Zagreb and Split with a leased MD82Croatia
5 May 1993Jet Airways began commercial airline operations with four B.737-300 airlinersIndia
5 May 2004ValuAirs' first flightSingapore
5 May 2007Eos Airlines began flights from London Stansted to Newark, New Jersey with their 48-seat B.757-200 aircraftUSA
5 May 2008Philippine Airlines’ regional carrier PAL Express began operations with 8 daily flights between Manila and Malay using Bombardier Dash-8-400 turbopropsPhilippines
5 May 2013Orbest declares bankruptcy and ceased operationsSpain
5 May 2013Skywest Airlines became Virgin Australia Regional AirlinesAustralia
5 May 2015Qazaq Air was established by Samruk-KazynaKazakhstan
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6 May 1949Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) operated its first flight with a leased Douglas DC-3 (>>American Airlines)USA
6 May 1993Aero Asia International started operationsPakistan
6 May 2007SkyValue and their fleet of one B.737 (leased from Xtra Airways) ceased operationsUSA
6 May 2009Air Arabia Maroc started operationsMorocco
6 May 2012Palau Airways operations startPalau
6 May 2014TRIP merges into Azul Brazil
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7 May 1927San Francisco Airport (SFO) opens on 150 acres (61 ha) of cow pastureUSA
7 May 1927Varig was founded as the first Brazilian airline by German Otto Ernst Meyer-LabastilleBrazil
7 May 1969 NAYSA Canarios started operations as NAYSA (Navegacion y Servicios Aereos)Spain
7 May 1997Montenegro Airlines operated its first flightMontenegro
7 May 2002Northwest Sky Ferry, founded as Rugby Aviation on 12Jan1999, received FAA CertificationUSA
7 May 2010BoraJet, formed in 2008 as Bora Jet Exclusive Charter, started operationsTurkey
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8 May 2002Express Airlines I changed its name to Pinnacle AirlinesUSA
8 May 2005Launch of Kingfisher Airlines in MumbaiIndia
8 May 2008Angkor Airways ceased operationsCambodia
8 May 2008EuroManx ceased operationsUK
8 May 2014Union Express Charter Airline started operationsMyanmar
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9 May 1917

William Boeing changed the name of Pacific Aero Products to the Boeing Airplane Co.

9 May 1936
The German airship Hindenburg lands at Lakehurst, New Jersey after its first scheduled transatlantic flight.
9 May 1967First flight of the Fokker F28 FellowshipNetherlands
9 May 2005Britannia Airways became ThomsonflyUK
9 May 2005BelgiumExel ceased operationsBelgium
9 May 2005Kingfisher Airlines started operationsIndia
9 May 2007Air Dominicana was foundedDominican Republic
9 May 2008My Travel Airways renamed to Thomas Cook ScandinaviaDenmark
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10 May 1923Zakavia was created in Georgia (>Aeroflot via Dobrolyot)USSR
10 May 1947Seaboard World Airways started operations  as Seaboard & Western AirlinesUSA
10 May 1950de Havilland DH.114 Heron first flightUK
10 May 1991
First flight of Bombardier CRJ100, regional airliner
10 May 2003Viking Airlines, established in 2003, started operationsSweden
10 May 2005HollandExel renamed to Arkefly (>Arke)Netherlands
10 May 2011REDjet commenced operations commenceBarbados
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11 May 1919Avro Transport Company (A.V. Roe) in Manchester opens Britain’s first scheduled air serviceUK
11 May 1921Glavvozdukhflot began mail and passenger flights on the Moscow-Oryol-Kursk-Kharkov routeUSSR
11 May 1934
First flight of the Douglas DC-2
11 May 1990Merchant Express Aviation Services was establishedNigeria
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12 May 1926

NAT (National Air Transport began air service between Chicago and Dallas, via Kansas City, Mo. (>UAL)

12 May 1939US Airways began operations as All American AviationUSA
12 May 1982Braniff International ceased all operationsUSA
12 May 1984
The Airbus A.310 entered service with Air France.
12 May 2009Tailwind Airlines started operationsTurkey
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13 May 1927
Colonial Air Transport offers a sightseeing trip from Teterboro, New Jersey, around New York City for just $8, less than the price of a similar trip in a taxi (>American)
13 May 2008

Far Eastern Air Transport ceased operations but restarted services on 18Apr2011

13 May 2010Albatros Airlines obtains its air operators certificate (AOC)Venezuela
13 May 2015Eastern Air Lines, founded in 2011, was awarded its Part 121 AOC from the US FAAUSA
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14 May 1923

The first aircraft to be operated by ÖLAG (Österreichische Luftverkehrs AG) flew from Vienna to Munich (>Interflug)

14 May 1949Following the government’s decision to create a single state airline, four airlines merge to form Aerolineas ArgentinasArgentina
14 May 1975Royal Brunei Airlines started operationsBrunei
14 May 1992Onur Air (Onur Havayolları Taşımacılık) launched its first flight to the Ercan Airport in Northern Republic of CyprusTurkey
14 May 2010BQB Airlines operations startUruguay
14 May 2012Bingo Airways operations startPoland
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15 May 1922
Instone Air Line (>BA) commenced flights between London and Brussels
15 May 1925
Junkers G.23 entered service with AB Aerotransport (Swedish Air Lines)(>SAS)
15 May 1930
Ellen Church became the world's first flight attendant, working for Boeing Air Transport (>UAL)
15 May 1944Wisconsin Central Airlines was founded (>Delta Air Lines)USA
15 May 1948World Airways operations startedUSA
15 May 1957North Cariboo Air started operations as North Cariboo Flying ServiceCanada
15 May 1971

TDA (Toa Domestic Airlines) was established by merging Japan Domestic Airlines and Toa Airways (>JAL)

15 May 1977 Empire Airlines was established and started operations in Orofino as a charter company originally named Clearwater Flying ServiceUSA
15 May 1992Tolmachevo State Aviation Enterprise, renamed to Siberia Airlines, was rebranded as S7 AirlinesRussia
15 May 1993VLM (Vlaamse Luchttransportmaatschappij) started operationsBelgium
15 May 1993Kogalymavia started operations before being renamed to MetroJet in 2012Russia
15 May 1997Euro-Asia Air International operations startKazakhstan
15 May 2000
Helios Airways commenced airline operations (>Ajet)
15 May 2002Air Astanas' maiden flightKazakhstan
15 May 2003 Global Air, formed as Aerolineas Damojh, start operations after being renamedMexico
15 May 2005Planet Airways ceased operationsUSA
15 May 2008
Aloha Air Cargo commenced operations as an independent airline after Aloha Airlines ceased operations
15 May 2009CAM (Compagnie Aérienne du Mali) was rebranded as Air MaliMali
15 May 2009Medallion Air received its AOCRomania
15 May 2012Air Côte d'Ivoire was set upIvory Coast
15 May 2014Fly Romania commenced operationsRomania
15 May 2014Manston airport (Kent) closesUK
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16 May 1928

Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) comes into being (>American Airlines)

16 May 1942CPA (Canadian Pacific Airlines) was formed when Canadian Pacific Railway Company purchases Canadian Airways (>Air Canada)Canada
16 May 1946 ALFA, a joint venture was established by the Argentine government through the merger of CSSA & CDNAArgentina
16 May 1968 Air Micronesia started operations (..>>UAL)Guam
16 May 1983Tol Air operations started operations (>Four Star Air Cargo)Puerto Rico
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17 May 1920

KLM's first flight: Pilot Jerry Shaw flew from London to Schiphol in a leased De Havilland DH-16

17 May 1981Corsair was founded as Corse Air InternationalFrance
17 May 1986Zhongyan Airlines was formed (>>China Southern Airlines)China
17 May 1992

Munich Airport commenced operations, moving from the former site at Munich-Riem Airport,

17 May 2000

Air Zarco (Air Madeira) adopts its new name: euroAtlantic airways

17 May 2002East African Airlines, originally incorporated as Africa Air, was renamedUganda
17 May 2005Galaxy Airlines was establishedJapan
17 May 2007Aero Asia International ceased operationsPakistan
17 May 2008Kosmas Air ceased operationSerbia
17 May 2012AeroSur ceased operationsBolivia
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18 May 1934

The Douglas DC-2, forerunner of the DC-3, entered commercial service on TWA’s Columbus – Pittsburgh – Newark route

18 May 1948
Aquila Airways was formed
18 May 1981Air Bahama, started as International Air Bahama, ceased operations Bahamas
18 May 1999Tepavia Trans was foundedMoldova
18 May 2004Royal Tongan Airlines ceased all operationsTonga
18 May 2007Peace Air ceased operationsCanada
18 May 2014Ruili Airlines commenced operationsChina
18 May 2015Petra Airlines restarted operations as Air Arabia JordanJordan
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19 May 1912First official mail flight service of the Deutschen Reichspost between Mannheim and HeidelbergGermany
19 May 1987

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

19 May 2004Wizz Air commenced operationsHungary
19 May 2015Blue Sky Airways was incorporatedAustralia
19 May 2006East Star Airlines started operationsChina
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20 May 1927

The Boeing Model 40A two-passenger mail plane made its first flight

20 May 1933

Hava Yollari Devlet Isletmesi Idaresi (State Airlines Administration) operating under the supervision of the Ministry of National Defence was established (>THY (Turkish Airlines))

20 May 1939The Boeing 314 entered service with Pan American AirwaysUSA
20 May 1956Cubana buys 3 Vickers Viscounts 700 for the route Havana to MiamiCuba
20 May 1965First flight of the De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin OtterCanada
20 May 2002SAM Colombia and its major rival ACES Colombia join to create Alianza Summa, and begin merged operationsColombia
20 May 2010Albatros Airlines, established on 27Dec2007, started operationsVenezuela
20 May 2015NokScoot commenced operationsThailand
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21 May 1921Aerotarg was established Poland
21 May 1925National Air Transport, one of the companies that originally made up United Airlines, was founded, for the purpose of carrying parcelsUSA
21 May 1946KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) inaugurates a scheduled service to New York; first European airline to open post-war flights to NYNetherlands
21 May 1951TransAsia was formed as the first private civil airline in TaiwanTaiwan
21 May 1953Dan-Air was incorporated (>British Airways) UK
21 May 1968Aviogenex was founded as Genex AirlinesSerbia
21 May 1970 Air Guadeloupe was founded as SATA (Société Antillaise de Transport Aérien)Guadeloupe
21 May 1994Aero Zambia was establishedZambia
21 May 2013TACA International Airlines merges with Avianca and was renamed as Avianca El SalvadorEl Salvador
21 May 2014Northwest Sky Ferry merges into San Juan AirlinesUSA
21 May 2015Choice Aire started public charter flights between Miami and Atlantic CityUSA
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22 May 1936Aer Lingus Teoranta was registered as an airline (>Aer Lingus) Ireland
22 May 1978

Tonga Air Service began operations

22 May 1981Atlantic Air, was founded in 1979 but did not start operations until this date  (BEX >Envoy Air)USA
22 May 1995Trade Air, founded in 1994, started operationsCroatia
22 May 1998Low cost airline Go, a British Airways subsidiary, opens its first “no-frills” route from Stansted to Rome CiampinoUK
22 May 2000Welcome Air started operationsAustria
22 May 2007SkyBus, an ULCC modelled after Ryanair began operationsUSA
22 May 2012Skyways announces immediate cancellation of all flights due to lack of financesSweden
22 May 2012 Mint Airways became insolvent & ceased operationsSpain
22 May 2014Eznis Airways ceased operationsMongolia
22 May 2015Air Lituanica ceased operations Lithuania
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23 May 1923SABENA was formed, adding new European routes to SNETA's routes in Belgian Congo that it takes overBelgium
23 May 1924The first scheduled air service in Canada began. Laurentide Air Service offered flights between Angliers, Lake Fortune and Rouyn, Quebec.Canada
23 May 1926

Western Air Express (WAE) became one of the first U.S. airlines to offer regular passenger service

23 May 1936Opening of Stockholm Bromma AirportSweden
23 May 1953SACA merges with Compagnie Air Transport to form CGTA (Air Algérie Compagnie Générale de Transports Aériens-Air Algérie (>Air Algérie)Algeria
23 May 1994Air Nostrum was constitutedSpain
23 May 2000Danube Wings, started as VIP Air, was renamed to VIP WingsSlovakia
23 May 2008Club Air Italy ceased operationsItaly
23 May 2008Pacific Airlines Vietnam renamed to JetStar PacificVietnam
23 May 2015Limitless Airways commenced operationsCroatia
23 May 2014SkyAero started operations with its maiden flight from Nairobi to Kisumu using a DC9Kenya
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24 May 1940

South African Airways became a military wing, and all commercial services are suspended

South Africa
24 May 1946

Chicago and Southern (C&S) Air Lines was awarded its first international route to the Caribbean

24 May 1958

Martinair was established by aviation pioneer Martin Schröder as Martin’s Air Charter

24 May 1975PATI (Philippine Aerotransport): started operationsPhilippines
24 May 1985Dragonair was established in Hong KongHong Kong
24 May 1988British Airways takes over British CaledonianUK
24 May 2004SkyNet ceased operationsIreland
24 May 2005SpiceJet commenced operationsIndia
24 May 2011Hermes Airlines was formedGreece
24 May 2014Aviolet, owned by Air Serbia, using three B.737-300 startedSerbia
24 May 2015

Autolux Airways began operations

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25 May 1946 National Air Charters started operations (>NAC (National Airways Corporation)South Africa
25 May 1950Vaengir was foundedIceland
25 May 1987Flight West Airlines was established by Sir Dennis Buchanan (+>Alliance Airlines)Australia
25 May 1993Talair ceased all flights & aircraft transferred to Flight West Airlines (Australia)Australia
25 May 2003Aero Mongolia, founded in 2002, started operationsMongolia
25 May 2004

Qantas’s new low cost domestic airline, Jetstar, commenced domestic operations

25 May 2007RegionsAir ceased operationsUSA
25 May 2007Mithras Air was formedBulgaria
25 May 2009FlyDubai received its air operator’s certificateUAE
25 May 2012VivaColombia operations startColombia
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26 May 1936State-owned Aer Lingus takes delivery of its first aircraft, registered EI-ABI, and named it "Iolar"Ireland
26 May 1963BUA (British United Airways) began a twice-daily rail-air-rail service between the city centres of London and Paris (>BA)UK
26 May 1972

TAN (Transportes Aereos Neuquen) was established as Líneas Aéreas del Neuquén

26 May 1983

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

26 May 1989Eurofly was established (Eurofly + Meridiana =>Meridiana Fly)Italy
26 May 2004 Virgin Australia International was founded as V AustraliaAustralia
26 May 2004ata Brasil (Atlantico Transporte Aereo) started operations. Ceased in 2006Brazil
26 May 2006Charlan Air Charter ceased operationsSouth Africa
26 May 2011Caribbean Airlines acquires all routes operated by Air Jamaica

Trinidad & Tobago

26 May 2011TNT Express, formerly an operating division of TNT N.V., carrier was demerged from its parent company


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27 May 1929CLASSA, constituted on 13Mar1929, commenced operations (>Iberia)Spain
27 May 1936Aer Lingus made its maiden flight from Baldonnel Aerodrome in Dublin to Bristol (Whitchurch airfield) in the UKIreland
27 May 1955First flight of the Sud Aviation CaravelleFrance
27 May 1999

National Airlines initiates service with nonstop flights between its Las Vegas hub and Chicago Midway and Los Angeles

27 May 2011Eagles Airlines was renamed to PRiMA Aero Trasport ItalianiItaly
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28 May 1946Aloha Pacific, a subsidiary setup by Aloha Airlines of Hawaii, started operations with a single DC-10USA
28 May 1946

BOAC operated its first departure from London Airport instead of Hurn (>British Airways)

28 May 1947BSAA  trials non-stop flights from London to Bermuda using aerial refuelling over the Azores (>British Airways)UK
28 May 1949Bharat Airways began international operations (>Air India)India
28 May 1998Jubba Airways started operationsKenya
28 May 1998Freedom Air Services was establishedNigeria
28 May 1999

The first flight of Aegean Airlines, from Athens to Heraklion and Thessaloniki

28 May 2004Atlas Blue was establishedMorocco
28 May 2005Knighthawk Air Express' operations are cancelledCanada
28 May 2006MidAtlantic Airways ceased operationsUSA
28 May 2007Chongqing Airlines' AOC was issuedChina
28 May 2012

Azul announces the acquisition of TRIP Linhas Aéreas

28 May 2013 TAMPA Cargo was rebranded as Avianca CargoColombia
28 May 2013 jetXtra commenced operations using a Volotea B.717UK
28 May 2014Vincent Aviation (the Australia division) shuts downAustralia
28 May 2015Eastern Air Lines: operated it's  first charter flightUSA
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29 May 1934Highland Airways commenced the first regular airmail service within the United Kingdom, between Inverness and Kirkwall (>British Airways)UK
29 May 1992Spirit Airlines was renamed from Charter One (formed 1980)USA
29 May 2005Air Italy started operations (>>Meridiana >Meridiana Fly)Italy
29 May 2009Gianair was incorporatedGhana
29 May 2012Pacific Royale received its AOC Indonesia
29 May 2012Bhoja Air ceased operations Pakistan
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30 May 1924The 1st aerial crop-dusting co, Huff Daland Dusters (>Delta Air Lines), was incorporatedUSA
30 May 1938WR Carpenter Airlines begin an Australia - New Guinea air mail serviceAustralia
30 May 1958The Douglas DC-8 made its first flightUSA
30 May 1974Airbus A300 entered service with Air FranceFrance
30 May 2008Silverjet ceased operationsUK
30 May 2009FlyMontserrat operated its first charter flightMontserrat
30 May 2010Air Minas was groundedBrazil
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31 May 1926Colorado Airways first flight (>Delta Airlines)USA
31 May 1933CIDNA, Air Orient, Air Union, and CGTA formed an air service named SGELA (Société General pour l'Exploitation des Lignes Aériennes)(>Air France in same year)France
31 May 1941United Air Lines end the first all-freight service by a U.S. airlineUSA
31 May 1945MEA (Middle East Airlines) was foundedLebanon
31 May 1946London Heathrow Airport was officially openedUK
31 May 1992Uzbekistan Airways takes over the operations of the Uzbekistan division of Aeroflot Uzbekistan
31 May 2008Champion Air ceased operationsUSA
31 May 2010Iraqi Airways restarted operations after Desert StormIraq
31 May 2012WOW air, founded in November 2011, commenced operationsIceland
31 May 2015Nordic Global Airlines ceased operationsFinland
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