Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

Wednesday January 10 1:33 PM ET A History of Trans World Airlines  

By The Associated Press

A brief history of Trans World Airlines: 

-July 13, 1925: Western Air Express, the airline that would merge with Transcontinental Air Transport to form the ``TWA'' brand, is incorporated. 

-July 7, 1929: Transcontinental Air Transport inaugurates coast-to-coast air and rail service on route laid out by Col. Charles Lindbergh from New York to Los Angeles (Glendale) via Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo; Wichita, Kan.; Waynoka, Okla.; Clovis and Albuquerque, N.M.; and Winslow and Kingman, Ariz. 

-Oct. 1, 1930: ``TWA'' is born when Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express merge to form Transcontinental and Western Air Inc. 

-Oct. 25, 1930: TWA begins offering coast-to-coast all-air service, a trip that takes 36 hours and includes an overnight stop in Kansas City. 

-1931: TWA moves headquarters from New York to Kansas City. 

-Aug. 6, 1931: A shipment of livestock from St. Louis to Newark, N.J., on TWA is first air cargo service in the U.S. 

-December 1933: The first and only DC-1, the first of the legendary line of Douglas Aircraft planes, is delivered to TWA. 

-1939: Movie mogul Howard Hughes acquires control of TWA. 

-Feb. 5, 1946: TWA begins trans-Atlantic service with flight ending in Paris. Later that year, TWA adds service to Rome, Athens, Cairo, Lisbon and Madrid. 

-1950: TWA officially become Trans World Airlines. 

-1954: TWA starts relocating executive offices to New York, while training, maintenance and engineering offices remain in Kansas City. 

-Jan. 3, 1957: TWA is the first airline to offer passengers freshly-brewed coffee in flight. 

-July 19, 1961: TWA shows its first in-flight movie, ``By Love Possessed,'' starring Lana Turner. 

-May 3, 1965: Hughes sells his position in TWA, more than 6 million shares worth $546.5 million. 

-April 6, 1967: TWA becomes the first U.S. airline to go all-jet. 

-Feb. 25, 1970: TWA becomes first airline to fly the Boeing 747 on a domestic route, with service between Los Angeles and New York. 

-Jan. 1, 1979: Trans World Corp. is formed, with subsidiaries including Trans World Airlines, Canteen Corp., Hilton International, Spartan Food Service and Century 21 Real Estate. 

-November 1983: Trans World Airlines becomes separate public company. 

-June 14, 1985: Shiite gunmen seize a TWA airliner and force it to Beirut, Lebanon. A U.S. Navy diver was killed and 39 Americans held hostage for 17 days. 

-Sept. 26, 1985: Carl Icahn acquires control of TWA. 

-Oct. 26, 1986: TWA acquires Ozark Airlines and merges Ozark into TWA's operations. 

-Sept. 7, 1988: Carl Icahn takes the company private, at a cost of $610.3 million. Icahn receives $469 million. The deal adds $539.7 million to TWA's debt. 

-1989: Icahn moves TWA headquarters to Mt. Kisco, N.Y. 

-July 1, 1991: Icahn sells TWA routes from New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago to London to American Airlines. 

-Jan. 31, 1992: TWA files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 

-Aug. 24, 1992: TWA reaches agreement with its three major unions for concessions in exchange for a 45 percent stake in the airline. 

-Jan. 8, 1993: Icahn resigns as chairman. 

-Nov. 3, 1993: TWA completes its first Chapter 11 reorganization. 

-February 1994: TWA relocates its corporate headquarters to St. Louis. 

-June 30, 1995: TWA again files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, emerging two months later. 

-July 17, 1996: TWA Flight 800 from New York to Paris crashes shortly after takeoff, killing all 230 passengers aboard. 

-Feb. 20, 1998: TWA retires the last of its Boeing 747. 

-Dec. 9, 1998: TWA announces the largest aircraft order in company history, 125 aircraft with options for 125 more. 

-May 25, 1999: TWA pilot William F. Compton becomes chief executive. 

-July 2000: TWA celebrates 75th Anniversary. 

-Jan. 10, 2001: TWA files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a third time and agrees to sell most of its assets to American Airlines. The sale, which is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court, brings an end to the financially troubled TWA, whose roots can be traced back 75 years. 

Source: Trans World Airlines.

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