My Account

History of United Airlines

Length: 610 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

History of United Airlines


United Airlines aircraft have soared through the skies for more than 70 years. Initially used to transport U.S. mail, the planes soon took on a few adventurous passengers. In a matter of years, air travel was embraced by the general public, creating a demand for larger, faster, more luxurious aircraft.

By 1914 aviation technology was sophisticated enough to make airplanes valuable wartime tools. In 1918, the U.S. government found an important peacetime role for aviation: delivering mail. Entrepreneur Walter T. Varney launched his U.S. "air mail" operation April 6, 1926, marking the birth of commercial aviation in the United States. Because Varney was a predecessor of United, it also marked the birth of the airline.

With the advent of larger aircraft, such as the Boeing and Ford trimotors, came stewardess service. Boeing Air Transport employee, Steve Stimpson, took the suggestion of nurse Ellen Church. He proposed that nurses serve coffee and sandwiches and minister to the comfort of apprehensive flyers.

As aviation matured, airlines, aircraft manufacturers and airport operators merged into giant corporations. When cries of "monopoly" arose, the conglomerates dismantled.
Few things escaped the shadow cast by World War II, and the aviation industry was no exception. For 60 wearisome months, United put aside its quest for growth and
profitability and took on a new responsibility: serving the U.S. military. United modified its aircraft for war, trained ground crews and flew thousands of missions to Alaska and across the Pacific to transport soldiers and supplies.

The post-war economic boom that swept the United States included a strong demand for air travel. President William A. Patterson responded by expanding United's workforce, acquiring new routes and purchasing United's first jet aircraft. This strategy, along with the 1961 merger with Capital Airlines, solidified United's industry leadership and made the company the world's largest commercial airline. The end of World War II brought a brief period of euphoria to the war-weary people of the United States. Rationing was over, business and industry were back to a peacetime mode, and the nation was feeling the feverish excitement of the boom times economists had predicted.

But while the forecasters were correct in their predictions, none came close to foretelling the suddenness and intensity with which the boom would thrust itself upon the nation, particularly upon the air transport industry. Airline fares had been reduced 10 percent since 1941, making it cheaper in many cases to travel by air than by rail.
United's fortunes changed in 1970 when the company posted a loss of $47 million just two years after making record profits. The company ran through a string of six presidents between 1970 and 1989 and changed its name twice as it fluctuated between further diversification and a return to its core airline business. Adding to the turbulence
was United's purchase of Pan Am's Pacific Division and the deregulation of U.S. airlines.
As the 20th century drew to a close, United redefined itself. Now operating in a deregulated environment, the company inaugurated service to Europe and South America and expanded its number of Pacific Rim destinations. United also adopted a new livery and logo befitting a global airline. Most important, United established its Employee Stock Ownership Plan, creating the world's largest majority employee-owned company in the world.

As it flies into the new millennium, United continues to lead commercial aviation. Shuttle by United, launched in 1994, competes successfully against a new wave of low-cost carriers. Star Alliance, a global partnership formed in 1997 by United and four international carriers, continues to grow and expand United's reach. A company priority is customer satisfaction and living up to its new slogan: "Rising."

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"History of United Airlines." 08 Dec 2016

Related Searches

Important Note: If you'd like to save a copy of the paper on your computer, you can COPY and PASTE it into your word processor. Please, follow these steps to do that in Windows:

1. Select the text of the paper with the mouse and press Ctrl+C.
2. Open your word processor and press Ctrl+V.

Company's Liability (the "Web Site") is produced by the "Company". The contents of this Web Site, such as text, graphics, images, audio, video and all other material ("Material"), are protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws. The Company makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the Material or about the results to be obtained from using the Material. You expressly agree that any use of the Material is entirely at your own risk. Most of the Material on the Web Site is provided and maintained by third parties. This third party Material may not be screened by the Company prior to its inclusion on the Web Site. You expressly agree that the Company is not liable or responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of other subscribers or third parties.

The Materials are provided on an as-is basis without warranty express or implied. The Company and its suppliers and affiliates disclaim all warranties, including the warranty of non-infringement of proprietary or third party rights, and the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. The Company and its suppliers make no warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the material, services, text, graphics and links.

For a complete statement of the Terms of Service, please see our website. By obtaining these materials you agree to abide by the terms herein, by our Terms of Service as posted on the website and any and all alterations, revisions and amendments thereto.

Return to