Great Moments in Travel History – March 2016

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On March 27, 1977, two Boeing 747 aircraft collided in heavy fog on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport, now known as Tenerife North Airport, on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands.  The resulting crash claimed the lives of 583 people, the deadliest accident in aviation history.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines was founded on March 12, 1979.  Delta acquired the company on March 22, 1999, and in December 2011, it was merged with ExpressJet.

Japan Air Lines became the first carrier to use a computerized flight simulator to train its crews on March 2, 1981.

Just after 2 a.m. on March 6, 1982, a fire broke out in the Westchase Hilton Hotel in Houston, Texas.  Twelve people perished in the blaze, and five more were seriously injured.

On March 6, 1986, Japan Air Lines flew the world’s heaviest man, who weighed 880 pounds (399 kilograms), from Frankfurt, Germany to Tokyo. Sixteen seats were removed from the aircraft to accommodate the passenger.

The Boeing 737 became, and remains to this day, the world’s best-selling jetliner when United Airlines accepted delivery of the 1,832nd 737 on March 28, 1990.

On March 12, 1993, the Blizzard of 1993 shut down nearly every airport in North America from Georgia to Nova Scotia for two days.  The blizzard became known as the “Storm of the Century.”

Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) launched the Boeing 737-600 with an order for 35 of the aircraft on March 15, 1995.  The first of the aircraft was delivered on September 18, 1998.

On March 8, 2005, the first Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner completed its inaugural flight. The aircraft is the world’s largest twinjet.

Continental Airlines, now part of United Airlines, ordered five 787-9 Dreamliners on March 12, 2007.  The Houston-based airline was the first customer in the Americas to order the high-tech plane.

On March 1, 2008, Tower 1 of the Trump Hotel Las Vegas opened.  The structure is the tallest residential building in Las Vegas.

The first flight of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, took place on March 20, 2011.  The plane is the largest version of the 747 produced, and is the longest passenger aircraft in the world.

On March 30, 2012, the Park Hyatt Hyderabad opened in India. The hotel was the first Park Hyatt property in the country.

On March 25, 2013, Boeing conducted the first of two test flights of the 787 Dreamliner’s lithium-ion battery system. The tests proved that the modifications made solved the problem of battery overheating that the plane had previously suffered and had resulted in the grounding of all Dreamliners worldwide earlier in the year.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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