American Airlines Scrapbook

American Airlines was developed from a conglomeration of 82 small airlines through acquisitions and reorganizations; initially called American Airways, it was a common brand for a number of independent carriers. These included Southern Air Transport in Texas, Southern Air Fast Express (SAFE) in the western US, Universal Aviation in the Midwest (which operated a transcontinental air/rail route in 1929), Thompson Aeronautical Services (which operated a Detroit-Cleveland route beginning in 1929) and Colonial Air Transport in the Northeast. On January 25, 1930, American Airways was incorporated as a single company, based in New York, with routes from Boston, New York and Chicago to Dallas, and from Dallas to Los Angeles. In 1934, American Airways Company was acquired by E. L. Cord, who renamed it "American Air Lines." Cord hired Texas businessman C. R. (Cyrus Rowlett) Smith to run the company. American was one of the four airlines, along with United Eastern, and TWA, that dominated the major transcontinental routes. Today American Airlines, Inc. is the world's third-largest airline in passenger miles transported, passenger fleet size, and operating revenues.