Great Moments in Travel History – June 2014

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The Lausanne Palace opened in 1915

The Lausanne Palace opened in 1915

The Washington Plaza Hotel opened on June 29, 1969.  Still open today, the property was the first luxury hotel to open in downtown Seattle since 1929, and was called one of Seattle’s seven wonders, along with Woodland Park Zoo, the Monorail, Pike Place Market, and the Space Needle.

On June 16, 1984, pilot Emily Warner and co-pilot Barbara Cook directed the first all-female commercial airline crew, on a Frontier Airlines flight from Denver to Lexington, Kentucky.

On June 23, 1985, a bomb exploded in the cargo hold of Air India Flight 182, causing the Boeing 747 to crash off the coast of Ireland, resulting in the death of all 307 passengers and 22 crew members.  One passenger, an “M. Singh” had checked in but never boarded the flight, although his suitcase, which contained the bomb, was loaded onto the flight.  Sikh extremists were later blamed for the incident, believed to have been acting in retaliation for the Indian government having attacked the Golden Temple in the city of Amritsar.

The Hilton Shanghai opened its doors on June 28, 1988.  The 714-room property was the first hotel from an international chain to open in China.  It has hosted numerous members of royalty and heads of state since then, in addition to many business travelers.

On June 4, 1989, the Ufa train disaster occurred on the Kuybyshev Railroad outside of Ufa in the western Soviet Union.  Two trains, one carrying passengers back from vacation on the Black Sea, and the other taking passengers there, passed each other and caused sparks that ignited a flammable cloud that had been created by a pipeline leaking liquid natural gas, and resulted in an explosion that killed 575 people and injured 800, many of them children.

The Boeing 777 established a new speed record on June 11, 1995, on a flight from Seattle to the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, in nine hours and two minutes.

The Boeing 767 Freighter made its first flight on June 21, 1995.  The aircraft can carry approximately 58 tons of cargo.

On June 26, 1995, Boeing’s board of directors authorized production of the 777-300.  The aircraft is the world’s largest long-range twin-engine commercial airliner.

The Boeing 737-800 was unveiled outside the Renton, Washington assembly plant on June 30, 1997.  The aircraft is a stretch version of the 737-700, and replaced the 737-400.

On June 1, 2008, the ferry MV Princess of the Stars capsized in the Philippines on its way from Manila to Cebu City, when Typhoon Fengshen (also known as Typhoon Frank) passed through the region.  On June 24, 2008, the Philippine Coast Guard reported that of the 862 passengers on board the ship, there were only 48 confirmed survivors, while 67 were confirmed dead, and 747 were missing.

On June 1, 2009, Air France Flight 447 crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, France.  All 216 passengers and 12 crew members on board the Airbus A330 perished in the crash, making it the deadliest accident in the history of Air France, as well as the deadliest incident involving an Airbus A330.

The Hoshinoya Okinawa Resort opened on Taketomi Island in Japan on June 30, 2012.  The island is in the southernmost part of Japan, isolated from other islands in the archipelago, and is part of a national park.

Delta Air Lines acquired Singapore Airlines’ 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways on June 24, 2013.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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