Unforgotten: Airlines of the Past (Part 2)

Nothing is a more sobering testament to the unpredictability of the airline business than the long list of carriers that are no longer with us. From Swissair and Sabena to Malev and Mexicana, here’s a look back at some of the world’s most colorful and influential airlines.

By Patrick Smith, up now on The Points Guy website.

Click below to read.


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6 Responses to “Unforgotten: Airlines of the Past (Part 2)”
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  1. Michael Spencer says:

    There was a time when a local airline contributed mightily to local pride- this period was confident with proper closing and behavior aboard aircraft, I’d add.

    Nowadays, we’ve so forced the airlines to bastardized their ‘service’ that comfortable air travel is a distant memory- and no memory at all to those to young to thank Mr. Reagan for meddling.

    I lived in Miami when Eastern Airlines was king; when Air Florida (remember Lenny Skutnick?) was beginning to make a mark; when $69 roundtrip to NYC was also routinely available.

    Then came Frank Borman, and the inevitable fallout of deregulation; suddenly Sir Freddy and his ilk were all the rage. Now I pay $50 to place a computer bag under my seat; and where is the pushback when airlines demand two hours’ early arrival? In what other industry could this abuse be tolerated?

    So, to all you youngsters out there: I promise you that air travel was, once upon a time, quite enjoyable.

    And: get off my lawn! 🙂

  2. Craig Arndt says:

    This history of Air Siam is from Royal Orchid. The History of Civil Aviation in Thailand by Stephen Darke and Virachai Vannukul (Managing Director of Air Siam for most of its existence)

  3. Craig Arndt says:

    Air Siam operated transpacific flights between 1971-1976. By early 1975 Air Siam operated an exclusively wide-body fleet, with the 230-seat A300 HS-VGD operating flight VG906 / 907 daily between Bangkok and Hong Kong, the 328-seat (including 22 first class) DC-10 HS-VGE flying twice a week between Bangkok and Los Angeles, and a 387-seat (including 8 first class) 747 HS-VGB operating VG902 / 903 three times a week on the Bangkok-Tokyo-Honolulu route.

  4. PSImpson says:

    When I flew Ansett in 1962, it was actually called “Ansett ANA”, having merged (according to that always accurate source, Wikipedia) with ANA (Australian National Airways).

    Sadly, 8 year old me doesn’t remember what kind of aircraft we flew in from Canberra to Melbourne. But it was all old hat, after having flown from DC to California, to Hawaii, to Fiji, to Sydney (or Canberra?). Quite a trip, and my first flight. Dad, in the US Foreign Service, had been assigned to the US Consulate in Melbourne, and for almost three years, I was an Australian kid. I had to learn pounds, shillings and pence, to stand, but not salute, when singing “God Save the Queen”, and getting all my immunizations at the consulate.

    Happy Christmas, everyone, and safe flights.

  5. Mike says:

    I wonder how long South African can keep going. The South African government has already had to bail it out, but the company still owes something like USD 4 billion, has bad relations with its staff and an ageing fleet. At one point, there was going to be a partnership with Etihad – but that went nowhere. Not sure if the South African government can afford another bail out alongside trying to save the national power company Eskom.