A Great Pioneering Airline.

TWA was a pioneer from the very beginning.

Those of us who had the honour to be a part of that great team can be proud of the way we were and the way we are.

 

TWA Seniors Club

 If you are an ex employee of our great airline but have not yet joined the TWA Seniors Club I urge you to join today.

Visit: www.twaseniorsclub.org

 

 



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TWA Historic Firsts

 

  1. One of TWA's predecessor airlines, Transcontinental Air Transport, became the first airline to offer coast-to-coast travel, with combination air-and-rail service. (July 7, 1929) 
  2. TWA was the first airline to offer all-air transcontinental service. (Oct. 25, 1930) 
  3. TWA was the first airline to require that its pilots have a flight plan, flight log, flight clearance and cockpit check lists. (1930) 
  4. TWA was the first airline to fly four-engine aircraft, when the Fokker F-32 was put into scheduled service. (1930) 
  5. TWA was the first airline to organize a weather department and employ a professional meteorologist. (1930) 
  6. TWA developed the first automatic trailing wire antenna release device and first the elastic de-iceable radio beacon antenna. (1930) 
  7. TWA, with Bell Laboratories and United Airlines, developed two-way high-frequency radio-telephone communications. (1930) 
  8. TWA was the first airline to inaugurate cargo service, with a shipment of livestock from St. Louis to Newark. (Aug. 6, 1931) 
  9. TWA was the first airline in the United States to use experienced pilots as flight control officers to handle increased airway traffic from ground control points. (1931) 
  10. TWA developed the first transport tail-wheel lock, applied to the Northrop Alpha airplane. (1931) 
  11. TWA was the first airline to conduct extensive research on aircraft icing to determine synoptic-free air conditions for de-icing planes. (1932-33) 
  12. TWA was the first airline to conduct extensive high-altitude experimental work, employing a special airplane rigged for this purpose. Data collected from altitude studies at up to 36,000 feet contributed to the development of the turbo-supercharger, as well as to high-altitude-flying techniques. (1932-35) 
  13. TWA, with the Douglas Aircraft Co., developed the first modern, efficient airliner - the DC-1, prototype of the famous DC aircraft series. Many features now standard on most airliners appeared on the DC-1, including wing flaps, hydraulic line tunnels accessible from the exterior, a steam heat system, shock-mounting of engines and a quickly removable storage battery. (July 1, 1933) 
  14. TWA was the first to develop and use advanced "flight planning" for every flight, based on a thorough analysis of weather and overall operating conditions. (1933) 
  15. TWA was the first airline to operate regular all-cargo service. The airline was also the first to fly transcontinental all-cargo service, inaugurated with Ford Tri-Motor "Flying Boxcars." (1933) 
  16. TWA was the first to apply modern "air mass" methods of weather analysis to airline operation. (1933) 
  17. TWA became the first to airline to fly the DC-2. (May 18, 1934) 
  18. TWA was the first airline to cooperate with the Civil Aeronautics Administration to develop and install an ultra-high-frequency blind-landing system. (1934) 
  19. TWA, with the Goodrich Rubber Co., developed the rubber wing de-icer and the rubber propeller de-icer overshoe. (1934) 
  20. TWA was the first to adopt the Sperry automatic pilot as standard equipment to reduce pilot fatigue. (1934) 
  21. TWA was the first to place combination lounge-sleeper planes into service, for greater passenger comfort. (1935, with the DC series aircraft; 1951, with the Constellation series aircraft) 
  22. TWA was the first to develop and use the anti-rain-static "homing" radio direction finder. TWA also developed shock mounting of all main radio units in a single radio rack and the pub-mounted quickly-removable pilot's radio switch box. (1937) 
  23. TWA underwrote the first book on aeronautical meteorology published in the United States, written by Dr. Horace R. Byers. (1937) 
  24. TWA was the first airline to develop 10,000- and 15,000-foot pressure charts for upper-wind forecasting. TWA later worked on pressure charts for upper winds at 40,000-foot altitudes for jet aircraft of the future. (1939) 
  25. TWA, with the Boeing Co., developed and put into service the first pressurized passenger aircraft - the Boeing Stratoliner - which could fly at altitudes of up to 22,000 feet, a height almost unheard of at the time. Coast-to-coast travel on the Stratoliner took only 13 hours, 40 minutes. (July 8, 1940) 
  26. TWA was the first airline to add flight engineers to the crews of four-engine aircraft on U.S. routes. (1940) 
  27. TWA was the first to offer commercial radio programs to passengers in-flight, providing each passenger with an individual receiver. (1940) 
  28. TWA was the first airline to train pilots in celestial navigation, enabling them to fly on- or off-route without the aid of radio navigational or landmark aids. (1941) 
  29. TWA was the first airline with an "all weather" flying research staff, including ground and pilot personnel and a special "flying laboratory," to study thunderstorm activity. (1941) 
  30. TWA was the first airline to operate flights around the world for the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, flying a total of 10,000 overseas flights under contract to the Air Transport Command. (Feb. 26, 1942) 
  31. TWA, a pioneer in "pressure pattern" flying, was the first to institute the concept on its routes, using the most favorable winds. (1943) 
  32. TWA developed the first altimeter-setting indicator, which automatically indicates the correct setting for the airport for which it's calibrated. (1944)
  33. TWA developed the first self-contained radiant wall, an automatically controlled aircraft heating and ventilating system. (1944-45) 
  34. TWA, with a maiden flight from Washington to Paris, was the first to fly and put into scheduled service the four-engine 300-mile-an-hour Lockheed Constellation - the fastest aircraft of its time. (Feb. 5, 1946) 
  35. TWA operated the nation's first "Flying Post Office," with the inauguration of five-cent air mail. (1946) 
  36. TWA was the first to fly trans-Atlantic all-cargo flights from the United States to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. (1947) 
  37. TWA was the first airline to develop and use the quick-frozen precooked method of food preparation, packaging and shipping for in-flight meal service. (1947) 
  38. TWA was the first airline to place into operation the "Teleflite," a system of instantaneous reservations. (1947) 
  39. TWA became the first airline to offer luxury all-sleeper service to Europe - the only service of its kind at the time. (Oct. 1, 1948) 
  40. TWA, with its "Sky Tourist" Constellation service, was the first to offer low-cost air transportation between the United States and Europe. (1952) 
  41. TWA was the first airline to provide non-stop transcontinental air service. (October 19, 1953) 
  42. TWA was the first airline to propose and introduce an inexpensive one-way transcontinental excursion fare. (September 25, 1955) 
  43. TWA was the first to install a dynamometer-type engine test cell, resulting in greater accuracy and safety at less cost. (March 1956) 
  44. TWA was the first airline to provide freshly brewed coffee in-flight. (January 3, 1957) 
  45. TWA inaugurated the first non-stop New York-to-Rome service, using Lockheed Constellation aircraft. (October 2, 1957) 
  46. TWA was the first to develop "minimum time route" navigation system, by which prevailing air currents are utilized for greater speed and comfort in air travel. (1958) 
  47. TWA was the first to provide non-stop service between San Francisco and New York. (March 20, 1959) 
  48. TWA was the first to provide jet service to San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City. (1959) 
  49. TWA was the first to provide in-flight movies. The first film ever shown in-flight was "By Love Possessed," with Lana Turner. (July 19, 1961).
  50. TWA was the first to become an all-jet airline in international service. (October 29, 1961) 
  51. TWA was the first to fly the Atlantic in scheduled service using the Doppler radar system, a fully automated system of navigation. (October 1, 1962)
  52. TWA was the first offer non-stop jet service between Boston and San Francisco. (October 1, 1962) 
  53. TWA was the first to provide non-stop jet service between Las Vegas and New York. (June 1, 1963) 
  54. TWA, upon retiring the last of its famed Lockheed Constellation aircraft, became the first airline to have an all-jet fleet. (April 6, 1967) 
  55. TWA, with a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to New York, became the first airline to introduce the Boeing 747 into service in the U.S. (Feb. 25, 1970) 
  56. TWA was the first airline to offer non-smoking sections aboard every aircraft in its fleet. (July 1, 1970) 
  57. TWA was the first U.S. airline to offer fly the Atlantic using twin-engine aircraft (Boeing 767s), thus introducing ETOPS, or extended-range twin-engine operations, to the industry. (1985).

Milestones in TWA History

 

July 13, 1925

Western Air Express (WAE) is incorporated. 

July 7, 1929
Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) 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, Indiana; St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri; Wichita, Kansas; Waynoka, Oklahoma; Clovis and Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Winslow and Kingman, Arizona. 

October 1, 1930
The "TWA" brand is born when TAT and WAE merge to form Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc. 

October 25, 1930
TWA inaugurates coast-to-coast all-air service. The cross-country journey takes 36 hours, including an overnight stop in Kansas City. 

Summer, 1931
TWA relocates its headquarters from New York to Kansas City. 

August 6, 1931
TWA inaugurates the first air cargo service in the U.S. with a shipment of livestock from St. Louis to Newark. 

September 20, 1932
TWA and Douglas Aircraft sign a contract for development of a revolutionary new all-metal twin-engine airliner, dubbed the Douglas Commercial Model 1 (DC-1). 

December, 1933
The only Douglas DC-1 ever built is delivered to TWA. 

May 18, 1934
The Douglas DC-2, the production version of the DC-1 and forerunner of the DC-3, enters commercial service on TWA's Columbus-Pittsburgh-Newark route. 

December 27, 1934
Jack Frye is named President of TWA. In the dozen years of his presidency, TWA will grow from Tri-Motors to Constellations and emerge as a major world airline. 

December 6, 1935
First TWA "air hostesses" begin flying aboard the DC-2. 

June 1, 1937
Sleeper berths are introduced in TWA service. 

1939-1940
Howard Hughes acquires control of TWA. Although never holding an official position with the airline, he will own and control TWA for the next 25 years. 

1940
TWA offers the first-ever in-flight audio entertainment, providing individual receivers to passengers to listen to commercial radio programs. 

July 8, 1940
Boeing 307 Stratoliner service is inaugurated by TWA providing coast-to- coast travel in 13 hours, 40 minutes. The Stratoliner is the first pressurized, all- weather commercial airliner. 

April 17, 1944
Howard Hughes and TWA President Jack Frye pilot a new Lockheed 049 Constellation from Burbank, California, to Washington, DC, in 6 hours 57 minutes, setting a new cross-country speed record. 

February 5, 1946
TWA begins transatlantic service with the Lockheed Constellation flying the New York-Gander-Shannon-Paris route. 

March 31, 1946
Inauguration of TWA's international service to Rome, Athens and Cairo. 

May 1, 1946
Inauguration of TWA's international service to Lisbon and Madrid. 

January 30, 1947
Inauguration of transatlantic all-cargo service. This was the first regularly scheduled direct all-cargo service ever operated over the North Atlantic. 

October 1, 1948
Inauguration of all-sleeper luxury service from New York to Paris, known as the "Paris Sky Chief," and from Paris to New York, known as the "New York Sky Chief." 

1950
TWA's corporate name is officially changed to Trans World Airlines. 

July, 1951
The Missouri River floods at Kansas City, extensively damaging the TWA overhaul base at Kansas City, Kansas, Fairfax Municipal Airport. In the aftermath of the flood TWA and Kansas City begin development of a new, flood-proof TWA overhaul base and a new international airport north of the city. 

May 31, 1952
The first TWA Ambassadors Club opens, at Greater Pittsburgh Airport. 

October 19, 1953
TWA begins the first non-stop eastbound scheduled transcontinental service with Super Constellations. The flight from Los Angeles to New York took 8 hours. Because of prevailing head winds, westbound transcontinental service continued to stop in Chicago to refuel. 

1954-1958
Most TWA executive offices are relocated to New York. Training, maintenance and engineering and administrative functions remain in Kansas City. 

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

1957
TWA occupies its new $25 million maintenance and overhaul base at Mid- Continent International Airport, Kansas City. Fifteen years later, in 1972, commercial air service for the Kansas City region is relocated from TWA's long-time home at Municipal Airport to Mid- Continent, which is renamed Kansas City International Airport. 

September 29, 1957
TWA launches polar route service from Los Angeles to London with the 1649A Constellation. 

January, 1958
The first edition of Ambassador Magazine is published. 

March 20, 1959
TWA initiates jet service from San Francisco to New York, using the Boeing 707-131. 

June 30, 1961
TWA files $115 million damage suit against Howard Hughes and the Hughes Tool Company, alleging violations of the Sherman Act and Clayton anti-monopoly acts.

July 19, 1961
TWA introduces in-flight motion pictures. The first feature: "By Love Possessed", starring Lana Turner. 

May, 1962
The Trans World Flight Center at Idlewild (later John F. Kennedy) International Airport, New York, is opened. 

October 1, 1962
TWA inaugurates the fully automated, Doppler radar system of navigation on scheduled transatlantic flights. The New York to London flight was the first transatlantic flight (commercial or military) ever operated without a professional navigator aboard. 

June 1, 1964
TWA inaugurates Boeing 727 service. 

May 3, 1965
Howard Hughes liquidates his TWA share holdings, selling 6,584,937 shares and netting $546.5 million. 

October 4-5, 1965
Pope Paul VI returns to Rome on a TWA special charter flight after his historic visit to New York. 

April 6, 1967
The last TWA Constellations is retired from passenger service. TWA becomes the first U.S. airline to go all-jet. 

August 1, 1969
TWA inaugurates transpacific and round- the-world service 

December 3, 1969
The Breech Training Academy opens in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas. 

February 25, 1970
TWA inaugurates Boeing 747 scheduled service nonstop from Los Angeles to New York. TWA is the first airline to offer 747 service in the U.S. 

July 1, 1970
TWA becomes the first airline to offer no- smoking sections aboard every aircraft in its fleet. 

November 1, 1970
TWA introduces new Business Class Ambassador Service providing a "whole new way to fly," and featuring "twin seat" accommodations on transcontinental routes. 

June 25, 1972
TWA inaugurates Lockheed 1011 service. The first flight, operating from St. Louis to Los Angeles, is flown on autopilot from takeoff to landing. 

January 1, 1979
Trans World Corporation is formed. Subsidiary companies will include Trans World Airlines, Canteen Corporation, Hilton International, Spartan Food Service and Century 21 Real Estate. 

December 3, 1982
TWA operates its first Boeing 767 flight, from Los Angeles to Washington's Dulles airport. 

November, 1983
TWA is spun off from Trans World Corporation as a new public company. 

1985
TWA launches its first transatlantic service with the Boeing 767 wide-body, the industry's first ETOPS (extended- range twin-engine operations) service. 

September 26, 1985
Carl Icahn acquires control of TWA. 

October 26, 1986
TWA acquires Ozark Airlines and merges Ozark into TWA's operations. 

September 10-21, 1987
Pope John Paul II travels on a specially configured TWA 727 and 747, accompanied by two chartered L-1011's. 

September 7, 1988
At a special meeting, TWA stockholders approve Carl Icahn's proposal to take the company private. The privatization takes $610.3 million out of TWA -- of which $469 million goes to Icahn -- and adds $539.7 million to TWA's debt. 

1989
Carl Icahn moves TWA headquarters from 605 Third Avenue to his own building in Mt. Kisco, New York. 

July 1, 1991
Carl Icahn sells TWA's route authorities from New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago to London to American Airlines for $445 million. 

January 31, 1992
TWA files a petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code. 

May 1, 1992
Carl Icahn sells TWA's route authorities from Philadelphia and Baltimore to London to USAir for $50 million. TWA retains St. Louis-London route. 

May 1, 1992
TWA opens the Constellation Club in its John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal as a luxury lounge for full fare Ambassador and First Class Transatlantic passengers. 

August 24, 1992
TWA and the TWA Creditors' Committee announce the signing of agreements in principle with TWA's three major unions for concessions in exchange for a 45% equity stake in the airline. 

January 8, 1993
Carl Icahn resigns as chairman of TWA, relinquishing all control and interest. The direction of TWA is placed in the hands of a two-man Management Committee (Co-Chief Executives) appointed by TWA employees, unions and creditors. 

January 14, 1993
TWA inaugurates "Comfort Class" service, "the most comfortable way to fly," with extra leg room in the main cabin. 

November 3, 1993
TWA completes Chapter 11 reorganization. The employees of TWA own 45 % of the airline upon emergence; creditors own the remaining 55 %. William R. Howard assumes the title of chairman of the board and CEO. 

November 23, 1993
TWA receives the 1994 J.D. Power & Associates award as the #1 U.S. airline for customer satisfaction on long flights. 

February, 1994
TWA relocates its corporate headquarters from Mt. Kisco, New York, to St. Louis. 

April, 1994
Jeffrey H. Erickson is named president and chief operating officer (later named chief executive officer). 

March 15, 1995
TWA introduces Trans World One, its enhanced international business class. 

June-August, 1995
TWA successfully completes a second financial reorganization. 

August 31,1995
TWA becomes the name sponsor of St. Louis' new NFL stadium, the Trans World Dome. 

October, 1995
Pope John Paul II travels to Newark, Baltimore and Rome on a specially configured TWA 767-300 aircraft on the final leg of a week-long visit to the U.S. 

October, 1995
TWA introduces a distinctive new aircraft livery. 

February 12, 1996
TWA announces plans to acquire 20 new 757-200 aircraft, the airline's first major new aircraft acquisition program since before the Icahn era. 

June 24, 1996
TWA opens a new state-of-the art reservations center in Norfolk, Virginia. The facility utilizes object-based PC reservations format for computer systems. 

July 16, 1996
TWA announces an order for 15 new MD- 83 series aircraft from McDonnell Douglas. 

Feb. 12, 1997
Gerald L. Gitner is named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer 

May 14, 1997
TWA announces second daily round-trip flight between St. Louis and London. 

November, 1997
Royal Jordanian Airline and TWA begin code-share service between the U.S., the Netherlands and Jordan. TWA is the first U.S. airline to offer direct service to Amman. 

December 31, 1997
TWA finishes the year ranked #2 for domestic on-time arrivals as reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation for the year, up from #10 in 1996. 

January, 1998
TWA introduces Trans World First, its new domestic first class service, featuring a 60% expansion of the number of first class seats in the narrow-body fleet. 

February, 1998
TWA introduces TWQ, its new high- frequency business market service. 

February 20, 1998
TWA retires the last of its Boeing 747 "jumbo jets" The newer and more efficient Boeing 767 wide-body is now the airline's main intercontinental aircraft. 

April 22, 1998
TWA announces an order for 24 MD-83 twinjets, all to be delivered during 1999. 

May 1, 1998
TWA launches AviatorsSM, its new frequent traveler program. 

May 12, 1998
TWA receives the 1998 J.D. Power & Associates/Frequent Flyer Magazine award as the #1 U.S. airline for customer satisfaction on flights of more than 500 miles.

October 21, 1998
TWA announces the acquisition of four Boeing 757s and one Boeing 767-300ER, giving TWA a fleet of 27 757-200s and 5 767-300ERs by January 2000.

December 9, 1998
TWA announces the largest aircraft order in company history for 125 B717s, A328s and A320 family aircraft plus options on 125 additional aircraft.

January 27, 1999
TWA once again has the honor of carrying Pope John Paul II home from St. Louis to Rome.

December 01, 2001

The final TWA flight TW111 STL-MCI.