Welcome to the 3DB and Happy Friday. Today I want to talk about how American Airlines cracked Pan Am’s monopoly on the North Atlantic routes in to Europe back in the 1950s. As we have discussed previously, Pan Am was the chosen instrument by the US on all international routes; however, there was another player that did that manage to crack the code and it was this player that allowed AA to enter the European market. So, who was the player that I speak of – American Export Airlines is the company and below is a brief overview of that company.
American Export Airlines (AEA) was established in 1937 by the shipping company, American Export Lines, with the goal of establishing a North Atlantic flying boat route. Dr. Edward P. Warner (1894-1958), an American aviation pioneer and one of the leading figures in world air transport systems, was engaged by AEA to prepare reports on possible North Atlantic routes.
Warner produced reports in 1937 and 1938 but AEA was not able to start their New York – Ireland flying boat service until June of 1942, due in part to stiff resistance from Pan American. In 1945 AEA was awarded transatlantic rights covering northern Europe, and the airline cut its strings with the shipping company.
In November 1948, AEA merged with American Airlines to become American Overseas Airlines (AOA) and Pan American purchased AOA from American in 1950 and merged their aircraft, and routes, in to their system. American wouldn’t serve Europe again for over 30 years, until it launched DFW-London Gatwick services in 1982.
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November 24, 2023