Airlines, Entrepreneurs and Bureaucrats: the American Experience

  • Roger E. Bilstein


The story of postwar developments in the United States airline service reflects trends that had become basic to the evolution of air transport during the pre-war era. Active participation by federal agencies launched the airmail service that spawned the first airlines in the 1920s, and federal regulations as well as airmail subsidies evolved as essential features for continuing development. Technological achievements in the 1930s created a crucial legacy for successful postwar airliners. The war itself played a key role in accelerating the role of air transport. While it is true that a fascinating cast of characters filled the roles of bold entrepreneurs before and after the war, the framework of federal programs and legislation represented a continuing pattern of influence and interaction.


American Experience Airline Industry Large Aircraft American Airline British Airway 
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  1. 28.
    Robert Daley, An American Saga: Juan Trippe and his Pan Am Empire, New York: Random House, 1980, pp. 335–46Google Scholar
  2. 35.
    ATA, Handbook, pp. 29–30; ‘Crisis Worsens for GPA Group’, Aviation Week and Space Technology, 141, 10 May 1993, p. 32; James Ott, ‘New Market Reshapes Embattled Big Three’, Aviation Week and Space Technology, 141, 10 May 1993, pp. 31–2Google Scholar

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© Roger E. Bilstein 1998

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  • Roger E. Bilstein

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