Great Moments in Travel History – July 2019

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Northeast Airlines, founded in 1926, completed its final flight on July 31, 1972. The next day it merged with Delta Air Lines.

One hundred and fourteen people died on July 17, 1981, when two connected walkways at the Hyatt Regency Kansas City in Missouri collapsed and fell into the hotel’s lobby, where a dance was in progress. An additional 216 people were injured that day, and, until September 11, 2001, it was the deadliest structural collapse in U.S. history.

Boeing began production of its 767 wide-body aircraft on July 14, 1978. The aircraft was the company’s first wide-body twin jet, as well as its first airliner with a two-crewmember glass cockpit. United Airlines was the launch customer for the 767 when it went into service in 1982 and Delta Air Lines is currently the largest operator, with over 90 in its fleet.

In July 1991, Kimpton Hotels instituted a brand-wide pet-friendly policy. The hotelier accepts at its properties all pets, regardless of size, breed, or weight, at no extra charge.

Pan Am agreed to sell its European routes, as well as its Pan Am Shuttle, to Delta Air Lines for $260 million on July 11, 1991.

On July 31, 1992, Thai Airways Flight 311 crashed into a mountain while attempting to land at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. All 113 people onboard perished.

TWA Flight 800 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on July 17, 1996, 12 minutes after taking off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. All 230 people onboard the Boeing 747-100 were killed. The investigation revealed that a fuel tank explosion was the cause of the crash.

On July 2, 2002, six Israelis were shot at El Al’s ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport by Hesham Mohamad Hadayet, a pro-Palestinian Egyptian who opposed U.S. policy in the Middle East. The incident was deemed an act of terrorism, and was one of the few to take place on American soil since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Sudan Airways Flight 139 crashed shortly after takeoff from Port Sudan, Sudan, on July 8, 2003. All 117 people onboard the Boeing 737-200 died in the crash.
The first 787 Dreamliner rolled out at a ceremony attended by 15,000 at the Everett, Washington final assembly facility on July 8, 2007.

On July 17, 2009, a bomb exploded in the Jakarta JW Marriott hotel, destroying the first floor of the property and killing six people.

With the delivery of its 78th Boeing 777 on July 29, 2009, Emirates became the largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft. The carrier flies every model type of the 777 including the 777-200 and 777-300.

Boeing acquired Vought Aircraft Industries’ operations at its South Carolina facility on July 30, 2009. Boeing later built its second final assembly plant for the Dreamliner at this location.

American Airlines announced an order for 460 new aircraft on July 11, 2011, setting a record for the number of planes ordered by an airline at one time. The order was divided into 200 Boeing 737 aircraft and 260 Airbus A320 aircraft.

On July 13, 2012, Amtrak announced plans to build a high-speed bullet train network that will run from Boston to Washington, with stops in New York City and Philadelphia. The new trains are expected go into service by 2040.

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed on July 6, 2013, while landing at San Francisco International Airport. Three of the 307 people onboard the Boeing 777-200ER were killed, while 181 were injured. The incident was the first fatal crash of a Boeing 777 since it entered service in 1995.

On July 27, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $4 billion refurbishment of LaGuardia Airport. Saying “there is no way to fix this,” the plan – currently underway – includes demolishing the current central terminal building and replacing it with a structure the length of two football fields located closer to the Grand Central Parkway. The first section of the new central terminal opened to travelers in 2019, although it will not be fully completed until 2021. Plans also include construction of an AirTrain link to the NYC subway system and the Long Island Rail Road.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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