This Week In Business Travel History – 25 March 2012
In 1609, Henry Hudson embarked on his journey to America on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. Hudson was one of the first explorers to chart the new world, including New York’s Hudson River, which was named in his honor.
The first ever fare-paying passenger railway service began in Wales (Britain) in 1807. The Swansea and Mumbles Railway was active until 1960.
In 1920, Waddon Airport at Croydon was first used as London’s airport. Located about 10 miles south of the city, Waddon Airport was used instead of Hownslow, which had been considered London’s main airport until that point. Today, London Heathrow Airport is the city’s main airport. It is also the busiest airport in the United Kingdom, the third busiest in the world, and handles more international passenger traffic than any other airport in the world.
Swissair was formed in 1931, after a merger between Balair and Ad Astra Aero airlines. Formerly the national airline of Switzerland, Swissair ceased operating this very same week in 2002 after filing for bankruptcy.
Concorde 02 hit supersonic speed for the first time in 1970. Twenty-three years later, the first female Concorde pilot made her inaugural flight as First Officer on the daily London-New York route in 1993. Concorde went out of service in 2003, following a tragic crash in 2000 in Paris, higher fuel costs, and a downturn in the economy.
In 1976, the Washington D.C. underground Metro opened. Today, it is the second-busiest rapid transit system in the U.S., behind the New York City Subway.
And finally, the September 2007 approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation for five U.S.-based airlines (American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and US Airways) to begin direct service to either Beijing or Shanghai, China, went into effect in 2009, opening the door for many more business trips to that country.
(Photo: Eduard Marmet)