American Airlines, Inc., is an airline with headquarters in the United States. It is the world’s largest airline in mileage, the fifth in number of aircraft operated and the largest in terms of total revenue for operations. In 2010 it transported 105,163,576 passengers, being the third largest in the world after Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.
The airline has its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and its hub is the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest worldwide. It operates scheduled flights throughout the United States as well as flights to Canada, Latin America, Europe, Caribbean, Japan, China and India. It is a founding member of the global Oneworld alliance. In 2010 it was classified as number 120 of the Fortune 500.
American Airways was formed as a conglomerate of 82 small airlines through acquisitions and reorganizations.
On 25 January 1930 it merged into a single company based in New York, with routes from New York, Boston and Chicago to Dallas, and from the latter to Los Angeles.In 1934, the company was bought by Errett Lobban Cord, who changed its name to “American Air Lines” and contract to Cyrus Rowlett (C. R. ) Smith to administer it, a post he held until 1968 and subsequently in 1973 by a few months. Smith worked with the Douglas Aircraft Company for the development of the Douglas DC-3 aircraft that American introduced to its fleet in 1936.
The airline cooperated closely with mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to build the first airport in the city of New York, and as a result, was the first airline in the world to become the owner of an exclusive lounge for traveler’s in the LaGuardia airport on Long Island. This hall was renamed the Admirals Club, setting the model for other lounges of airlines around the world.
On January 25, 1959, American introduced its first transcontinental non-stop service from the West Coast to the Atlantic Coast operated by Boeings 707. American invested US$440 million in its fleet and launched the first electronic system for issuance of tickets (Sabre) developed in conjunction with IBM, and built a new terminal at Idlewild Airport, later called J. F. K. of New York, transforming this into its largest base of operations. In September 1970, American began its first intercontinental flights from the West coast of the USA, with destinations to Honolulu, Sydney and Auckland. In 1979, American moved its center of operations from New York to Dallas-Fort Worth, establishing its main hub at the airport and a second hub at Chicago O’Hare for transatlantic flights.
In 1990, American began its great expansion in Latin America, flying to Asuncion, Buenos Aires, Cali, Bogota, Guayaquil, La Paz, Lima, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Santiago de Chile.
In 1990, American purchases for US$ 445 million TWA’s operating assets in the London s Heathrow airport , establishing its main hub in Europe. In addition, that same year, American buys the rights of routes from Miami to Latin America from a bankrupt Eastern Airlines. Miami is transformed into one of the main centers of operations for American Airlines, which during the 1990’s strengthens its position as the main operator between the United States and the region. In 1999, American, together with British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Canadian Airlines and Qantas form the global Oneworld alliance.