United Airlines 95th Birthday!
April 6, 2021
United Airlines came from somewhat humble beginnings when William Boeing founded Boeing Airplane Company in 1916 as an aircraft manufacturer. With successful releases of Boeing Aircraft models, the company transitioned into operating as an air carrier for mail. The first successful mail delivery was in 1919. By 1928 a subsidiary, United Aircraft Corp, was established to operate as a full-service airline.
Under this Corporation, our airline began to expand business operations through both acquisitions and mergers. Over the years the United Aircraft Corp included Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Stout Air Services (operating as a passenger airline) and First Pacific Air Transport, and then expanded to include Varney Airlines.
After these acquisitions, United Air Lines was established as the parent company for all the subsidiaries transitioning from manufacturing, cargo and mail delivery to civilian and military transportation services.
In 1934 the Air Mail Act was passed that resulted in United breaking into multiple businesses and airmail contracts. The Boeing Company would now facilitate the manufacturing of airplanes, while United Airlines company emerged as a commercial airline operation. United had already become one of the largest airlines in the U.S. because of the hub structure in effect at that time (SFO, SLC, DEN, ORD, IAD), and capitalized on these hubs to create a profitable mail carrier structure as well.
Of course, we’ve all been through our most recent merger, between United, Continental and Continental Micronesia Airlines. While executing the merger took a substantial amount of time, we are now all benefiting from the synergies that come with merging not only the operations, but the rich diversity of the people who today make up the face of our airline. Through the rich mix of history, culture and diversity United has evolved into the carrier we all have come to know today. Collectively, we join together on April 6 to wish the place we call home a very Happy Birthday.