The 10 Oldest Existing Airlines


Cape Town – Brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright gave humankind the gift of flight in 1903 already, when the first successful human flight was executed on 17 December.  In 1903 already, a new benchmark for human transport was set by these innovative brothers.

In the century since the Wright brothers’ first flight, the world has seen many airlines come and go. Every smart business person or big company wanted a slice of the 35 000 ft pie, even though many were not able to meet the high mark.

Cream rises to the top, they say – much like these airlines that were able to stand the test of time and that are still considered to be world class airlines, even in 2014.

Here are the top 10 oldest existing international airlines of the 21st century. 

10. Aer Lingus

#dublin #airport #aerlingus #delta #usairways #ireland #Irlandia #lotnisko #airlines

A photo posted by ?????????? (@triangle_walks) on


Aer Lingus (Irish for “air fleet”) is the national flag-bearing airline of Ireland and is still standing strong after its first commercial flight on 27 May 1936.  The airline operates from Dublin Airport and flies mostly Airbus aircrafts to Europe, North Africa, Turkey and North America.

 

9. American Airlines 


AA is one of the largest and oldest airlines in the States, with its first commercial flight taking off in 1934 already. Since then the airline has grown exponentially and now flies to North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.  Their headquarters are in Texas.  

 

8. Air France 


The flag-bearing airline of France was founded on 7 October 1933. The airline stood its ground even in tougher times, as they were one of only three main allies schedules airlines operating between Germany from 1950 – 1990, during the Cold War. The airline operates to 93 different countries in the world.  

 

7. Delta 


Delta Airlines is one of the major American airlines operating from Atlanta, Georgia in the south of America. The airline took off on 17 June 1929 and flies to 64 countries today. The first Delta aircraft was in fact a crop duster, after which one of the founders, Collett E. Woolman, changed it to a commercial airline.

 

6. Iberia 


Iberia Airlines is the flag-bearing carrier of Spain, and first took off on 15 December 1927. The airline, based in Madrid, has since grown exponentially, flying to 39 countries directly. The main hubs of Iberia operate from Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona El Prat Airports.

 

5. Lufthansa 


This is Germany flag-bearing airline, which is also the largest airline in Europe.  It first took flight in 1926 as official German carrier Deutsche Luft Hansa. In 1946, after Germany’s defeat, all national services were suspended, but in 1955 Lufthansa was again approved to fly. Today the airline is operating to 78 countries all over the world.

 

4. Czech Airlines 


This national Czech Republic airline took off on 6 October 1923 and is still going today. It was the first airline to successfully initiate jet airliner services in 1957 and flies to 48 countries worldwide. The airline is based in Prague’s Václav Havel Airport.

 

3. Aeroflot 


This airline is the flag-bearing and largest operating airline of the Russian Federation. The first commercial flight took off on 15 July 1923, and they’re still flying high today. The airline operates from Sheremetyevo International Airport. The airline was the national airline of the Soviet and during the Soviet era, it was considered to be the largest airline in the world.

 

2. Qantas 


With their distinctive kangaroo logo, it’s obvious that this is the national carrier of the land Down Under. Qantas was airborne in March 1921 for the first time. The fact that Qantas is listed as the second oldest existing airline comes as no surprise as people on the Australian island were dependant on ship travel only before Qantas came around.

 

  1.        KLM

In the name of KLM being the oldest, here we go in Dutch. De eerste vlucht van de luchtvaartmaatschappij nam naar de hemel op 7 oktober 1919 en is sindsdien uitgegroeid tot een instituut in de luchtvaartindustrie. Het is nog steeds onder haar oorspronkelijke naam, de Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV, maar vandaag vliegt naar 90 bestemmingen wereldwijd. Lang leve KLM!



If you've got amazing and/or inspiring photographs, we'd love to post them on our site. Please send them to us at info@traveller24.com or post them to our FacebookTwitter or Instagram accounts.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
13% - 366 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 642 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
63% - 1723 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.18
(+0.53)
ZAR/GBP
20.43
(+0.01)
ZAR/EUR
18.45
(+0.35)
ZAR/AUD
11.30
(+0.28)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.03)
Gold
1840.60
(+0.64)
Silver
24.12
(+0.49)
Platinum
1032.00
(+2.58)
Brent Crude
47.96
(+1.75)
Palladium
2310.00
(-3.44)
All Share
58947.48
(+1.14)
Top 40
54171.85
(+1.29)
Financial 15
11399.33
(+0.82)
Industrial 25
79681.43
(+0.78)
Resource 10
56621.26
(+2.07)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo