This Week In Business Travel History – 1 April 2012

By Michael Acampora on 2 April 2012
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In 1513, the area now known as Florida was discovered by Juan Ponce de León, who claimed it for his native country of Spain. Nearly 60 million people visit the state each year and, in 2011, it was the top destination state in the country.

The first modern Olympic Games officially opened in Athens in 1896. This July, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will take place in London.

In 1924, the first successful flight around the world began in Seattle, Washington. Four Douglas World Cruisers took off, although only two completed the full global circumnavigation, flying 27,553 miles (44,340 km) in 175 days, and returning to Seattle on September 28. The successful pilots were Lt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. Erik Nelson, and their actual time aloft was 371 hours and 11 minutes.

The Swedish airplane manufacturer Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (SAAB) was established in Trollhättan, Sweden in 1937. The company later started an automotive division, which filed for liquidation in December of last year.

In 1947, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was officially founded in Montreal as an intergovernmental organization whose charter is to regulate global air transportation. ICAO currently has 191 member countries (and the Cook Islands) as signatories.

In 1967, TWA became the U.S.’s first all-jet airline with the retirement of its last Lockheed L-749A Constellation and L-1649 Starline (pictured) cargo aircraft. That morning, every passenger seat on a TWA flight had a booklet titled “Props Are For Boats” placed on it

Legendary aviator Howard Hughes died in 1976 aboard a Learjet. Hughes’ extraordinary life would go on to be the subject of many films, including The Aviator, which won an  Academy Award in 2004.

ow simply Apple) in 1976. Apple is currently the most valuable company in the world, and recently launched its new iPad tablet computer.

In 1981, Pan Am founder Juan Trippe passed away in Los Angeles. The airline’s innovations had ranged from computerized reservations systems to jet aircraft to jumbo jets and greatly influenced the airline industry for many decades.. A mere decade later, Pan Am ceased operations after declaring bankruptcy.

The Space Shuttle Challenger made its first voyage into space on mission STS-6 in 1983. As part of the mission, the crew performed the U.S. shuttle program’s first ever space walk.

In 1997, a Boeing 777 landed in Seattle after setting two records, one for circumnavigation of the world and one for speed and distance.  The 777 flew from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur airport and continued on to Seattle in 41 hours and 59 minutes (stopping only to refuel in Kuala Lumpur).  En route to Kuala Lampur, the aircraft set a new Great Circle Distance Without Landing record by covering 12,455.34 statute miles (20,044.20 km).  It also set the Speed Around the World, Eastbound record by traveling the Seattle-Kuala Lumpur-Seattle route at an average speed of 553 mph (889 kmh).

A French TGV (Train à Grand Vitesse in French or high-speed train) set a new rail speed record of 357.2 mph (574.8 km/h) in 2007.Today, TGVs are routinely operated at speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph) on some routes. The TGV service has proven so successful that many new lines were built throughout France and, soon, neighboring European countries were building their own high-speed train systems.

In 2008, ATA Airlines (née American Trans Air) filed for bankruptcy for the second and final time, and immediately ceased operations. The last ATA flight was 4586 from Honolulu to Phoenix.  ATA’s assets were purchased by Southwest Airlines after bankruptcy proceedings.

Finally, at the very start of the week, Pinnacle Airlines, which operates Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express flights, filed for for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.


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Pinnacle Airlines, Operator of Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express Flights, Files Chapter 11

Pinnacle Airlines announced it has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of...