By 1925, flying had become commonplace when the Air Mail Act had come into effect which allowed airlines to carry mail along with passengers. Many airlines including United, Pan Am, and American Airlines were established during this time. In the Mid-twentieth century, the Civil Aeronautics Board was founded. The board chose the routes airlines flew and set their airfares. This created no competition and around forty years later, the deregulation act was passed by congress. The law removed the Board’s power and let airlines choose their fares and routes which created competition amongst the airlines. After deregulation, many new airlines were created and smaller airlines grew. However, the bigger airlines, like TWA and Pan Am, suffered and eventually went bankrupt due to the competition created and the Gulf War. In the 21st century, 9/11 brought losses to many airlines all around the world, until 2006 when airlines started to make money again.
In order to create more competition and better service among the airlines, the Civil Aeronautics Board started to have less control of airline routes and fares in the United States. This eventually led to the Airline Deregulation Act in the 1970s and it led to the end of the Civil Aeronautics Board in the 1980s. The Airline Deregulation Act was a law that took away government control of the industry. After the act was passed by Congress, then more airlines began to appear on the market and already existing airlines grew quickly. This act also let airlines in the United States to compete in overseas markets. Merges and airline alliances also become popular during this time with airlines creating many partnerships. Mergers between aircraft manufacturers eventually led to a market with mainly two companies: Boeing and Airbus.
Between 1948 and 1960, airplane hijacking, also known as skyjacking, grew in prominence in Eastern Europe as people tried to escape communist countries. During the Cuban Revolution in 1959, planes that contained escapees were diverted against the pilots will to the United States. Then, in 1961 four U.S. aircraft were hijacked in quick succession with its passengers held at gunpoint in Cuba. This started a number of hijacks all over the world. As a result of skyjacking, countermeasures have been put in place at airports around the world to catch people who try to board weapons onto planes. X-ray machines and anti skyjacking laws are two of these countermeasures. Since these measures have been in place, the amount of hijacks has gone down dramatically. However, the most infamous instance of hijacking took place on September 11th, 2001 when skyjackers took four planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers took on the hijackers.
After World War II, commercial aviation is the field of aviation that has changed the most. At first, war planes were converted to commercial planes and used by the airlines in the 1950s. The first fully jet powered plane came from Great Britain in 1952. It was the de Havilland Comet, but it withdrawn from service two years later due to fatal crashes. The Boeing 707 was the most reliable and practical of first generation jet aircraft. When the short haul market appeared in the 1960s, America beat Europe to creating a number of planes. But in 1969, Concorde, the world's first supersonic passenger aircraft was made in Britain and France. Boeing responded with the "Jumbo Jet": the 747. In the late 20th century, U.S. airlines have had a number of issues including rising fuel costs. The Deregulation Act of 1978 was made to have more competition among airlines and have the government have less control of the airline industry. However, this only created more problems including overcrowding of passengers and discontinuation of flights to smaller towns.
Airbus has beaten its the target it set itself by receiving over 1,000 aircraft orders for the first nine months of 2013. Much of these orders come from European airlines that had ordered the planes, but had not yet confirmed it. Lufthansa, however, cancelled three A380 aircrafts orders and instead ordered smaller long-distance aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing. As airlines around the world turn to more fuel efficient aircraft to renew their fleets, Airbus upped its target over 1,000 aircraft in July of this year. Between January and September, Airbus had accumulated a net total of 1,062 aircraft orders. It has delivered 445 aircraft so far this year. Other airlines that made notable orders include British Airways which ordered 18 of Airbus’s newest plane: the A350-1000. Delta Airlines ordered 30 A321 aircrafts to add to its fleet after they had cancelled an order for the same plane in 2008 when they merged with Northwest Airlines.
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