Take a Trip Down Memory Lane With These Defunct Airlines You Might Not Remember

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane With These Defunct Airlines You Might Not Remember

After years of bankruptcies and mergers and a difficult time in the aviation industry, the listing of U.S.-based airlines has been reduced. In the past, the small network of regional airlines linked a large portion of the nation. Still, due to the deregulation, these smaller ones were taken over by larger airlines, and today’s monopolies have been born.

Today, we think of the old airlines that didn’t succeed, the ones your grandparents could have been flying on for a long time before you started complaining about the legroom.

Pan American World Airways

Lifespan: 1927-1991

Pan American World Airways, often Pan Am Pan Am, was an American mainstay with big ambitions. The airline had its glory days: it flew the data-vars-ga-outbound-link=”https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568075″ data-vars-ga-ux-element=”Hyperlink” href=”https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=568075″>Beatles to New York City in 1964. became an icon of the glory days of jet travel and wanted to spearhead passenger trips to the moon by the year 2000.

Unfortunately, Pan Am encountered financial troubles during the 1970s, during the oil crisis that ravaged the global economy. Eventually, in the 1980s, it began selling off its wealth of profitable assets. Pan Am declared bankruptcy in 1991.


Continental Airlines

Lifespan: 1934-2012

Continental is still alive, operating under a brand new name and licensing arrangements. The airline merged with the parent company of United Airlines, the UAL Corporation, in a 2012 data-vars-ga-outbound-link=”https://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/business/03merger.html?mtrref=www.google.com&gwh=6B448E9EF04C79F0F330E843242DA5D4&gwt=pay” data-vars-ga-ux-element=”Hyperlink” href=”https://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/business/03merger.html?mtrref=www.google.com&gwh=6B448E9EF04C79F0F330E843242DA5D4&gwt=pay”>deal worth $3 billion. Though you won’t see the Continental name emblazoned on aircraft anymore, United employees still wear the same uniforms their Continental predecessors wore.


Hooters Air

Lifespan: 2003-2006

Yes, it’s a real thing.

You could think that Hooters Air, the fast-casual eatery chain with the identical name, provides express service to various Margaritaville resorts, golf clubs, and golf clubs, and you’d be somewhat correct.

Hooters Air flew under the umbrella of Pace Airlines, which Hooters owner Robert Brooks data-vars-ga-outbound-link=”https://www.businessinsider.com/rise-and-fall-of-hooters-airline-myrtle-beach-bob-brooks-atlanta-airplanes-2018-2″ data-vars-ga-ux-element=”Hyperlink” href=”https://www.businessinsider.com/rise-and-fall-of-hooters-airline-myrtle-beach-bob-brooks-atlanta-airplanes-2018-2″>acquired in 2002. It operated out of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and served destinations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas.

The times were good for a while, but they will eventually end as with all great parties. The year 2006 was the one when Hooters Air abruptly called it quits. The dance floor was open for males who wanted to have a beer at altitude with women half their years older.



Braniff International Airways

Lifespan: 1928-1982

Many aviation enthusiasts think of Braniff as a precursor to Southwest because it was headquartered in Texas and created an early niche covering a large portion of South, Midwest, and eventually Latin America. Many historical events–such as an unstable oil market and an ailing economy, the Airline Deregulation Act, and the aftermath of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization strike brought the airline to the brink in 1982.

If the logo appears familiar, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone created their company after Braniff. The logo appears in the final moments of earlier episodes. The more you understand.



Trans World Airlines

Lifespan: 1930-2001

As a result of a mandatory union of Western Air and Transcontinental Air Transport in 1930, the airline did not transform into Trans World Airlines for another two years.

TWA has grown into a massive name in aviation but became a victim to the desires of its second-largest shareholder, Carl Icahn, in the 1980s. As per USA Today: “Icahn’s management concentrated on making short-term profits at TWA instead of paying attention to its system. TWA had to sell itself and ensconced in debt. To pay for the new debt the airline sold lucrative international routes and gates for airlines.”

The company was purchased by American Airlines in 2001.


Central Airlines

Lifespan: 1949-1967

In keeping with nature, Central Airlines serviced Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and other cities scattered all over the U.S., the heartland. This played into the airline’s downfall, as most of its network was made up of data-vars-ga-outbound-link=”https://airwaysmag.com/best-of-airways/airlines-of-the-past-central-airlines/” data-vars-ga-ux-element=”Hyperlink” href=”https://airwaysmag.com/best-of-airways/airlines-of-the-past-central-airlines/”>sparsely populated cities with populations no more significant than 20,000. The airline was eventually gobbled up by the initial Frontier Airlines (not to be confused with the low-cost carrier that still operates Today).


Frontier Airlines

Lifespan: 1950-1986

The Arizona Airways, Challenger Airlines, and Monarch Airlines merger formed a Frontier. Its headquarters were in Denver and a hub at Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Dallas, Texas. The company eventually went under in the mid-1980s. However, a tiny group of its fans remain enthralled by its ephemera and memories online.

The current Frontier Airlines is still operating and was founded in 1994.

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