Airline History is something we need to look back at if we would like to know were aviation all started. You may be asking some questions about how it evolved so quick from the 2 Wright Brothers  that we learnt about at school (Orville  + Wilbur Wright) taking flight in 1903 to the modern Jets and commercial Boeing’s that take flight today.

Well the truth is that without those small steps taken by few, we would not have the technology that we do today. Transportation in today’s time is very much different to what it was 10, 20, 30 and 100 years ago. Without man taking the first step to ride a bicycle, a car, or a train, flight wouldn’t have been imaginable and possible.

If we look back on the Airline history of some of the biggest airlines today such as SAA, Mango, Kulula, Emirates, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, e t c, you will find out how they have grown over the years and how a small fleet or airport carrying maybe 4 planes has turned into a multi-million Rand operation that allows millions of tourists to reach any destination on earth. Quiet impressive isn’t it?

Here are some interesting facts that you perhaps didn’t know about airlines:

  • Many airlines have a rule that each pilot flying the aircraft eats a different meal, in order to minimize the risk of all pilots on board being ill from food poisoning.
  • About one third of the world’s airports are in the USA alone.
  • The first flight attendants had to weigh less than 115 pounds, be unmarried and be trained nurses. Very strict rules were set in place to verify these rules.
  • In the year 1987, American Airlines saved an estimated $40,000 by giving one less olive in each salad served in first class so they could cut running costs.
  • The world’s busiest commercial airport is Harts-field-Jackson Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, with 970,000 airplane movements a year alone.
  • A Boeing 747 is made up of six million parts.
  • The maximum speed of a Boeing 747 is 955 km per hour.
  • At any given time, 61,000 people are airborne over the US.
  • British Airways passengers consume six tons of caviar per year.
  • Singapore Airlines is the second largest buyer of Dom Perignon champagne in the world.
  • In 2011, Heathrow Airport handled 69, 433, 230 passengers.
  • Famous people killed in aircraft accidents include SA cricketer Hansie Cronje, golfers Payne Stewart and Davis Love Snr, musicians Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Denver, Jim Croce and Aaliyah, as well as John f. Kennedy Jr.

Lastly, as you can see from the Airline History above, although planes crash each and every single year, flying is still considered to be the safest method of travel in the world!