Sunday, July 29, 2012

The US Airlines Essay

The History of the United States Airlines Since 1945

The US Airlines is one of the largest companies operating in the US market in the airline industry. To put it more precisely, at the present moment the company is one of the leaders of the industry in the US and is a popular brand that has gained the public recognition and loyalty of its customers. Naturally, the company had a long way to go to achieve such a tremendous success in the national as well as international market and, in this respect, the post-World War II years were really important since it is exactly within this period the company has been formed and evolved into the national leader among American airline companies.
At the same time, the history of the US Airlines since 1945 is really noteworthy and even necessary to analyze and research because it provides ample information on the development of the US aviation and airlines in the second half of the 20th century. In such a way, it will be possible to understand not only the reasons for the successful development of the company but also reveal the major trends which are typical to American and even world airlines and the future perspectives of their development.

The post-World War II period in the history of the US Airlines 
First of all, it is necessary to start with the post-World War II period, probably the most important period in the history of the US Airlines. Obviously, this period may be characterize as the turning point in the history of the company since the changes that had occurred during late 1940s – 1950s were really crucial to the further development of the company and, to a significant extent, determined its future. In this respect, it should be pointed out that after the end of the World War II, the US Airlines, which at the epoch was named All American Aviation Company, changed their policy considerably.

To put it more precisely, before the war, namely when the company was just formed, it basically focused on the air transportation of various goods and mail. In such a way, it is possible to estimate that its specialization was air mail services which was later enlarged by the provision of air cargo services. However, after the end of the war, the company’s management had realized the necessity of changes and the possibility to enlarge the services the company could supply to its customers. Moreover, the new services could considerably improve the position of the company in the market since, in actuality, the new services practically opened new markets for the company to enter. This is why in 1949, the company began passenger service which became an important part of the company services and, what is more, gradually, the passenger service became the major area the functioning of the entire company was focused on.

Naturally, such a change, or enlargement of services supplied to customers were determined by objective reasons and it was not just the willingness of the US Airlines to diversify its services and increase the number of customers but it was also determined by the actual situation in the national economy. It should be said that after the end of the World War II, the US economy was growing rapidly and, therefore, the competition in the traditional segment of the market where the US Airlines traditionally operated increased considerably while the need in passenger service was a perfect, alternative segment where the company could enter and improve its position due to the implementation of new service.

On other hand, the entering of passenger service in the late 1940s could hardly be possible without technological innovations. To put it more precisely, the passenger service needed new aircrafts and, in such a situation, the company made a choice in favor of DC-3’s which proved to be efficient and comfortable that meet the basic goals the company had before entering the new segment of the market.

In such a situation, 1950s became the period when the company attempted to gain the public recognition and increase its share in the market. It should be pointed out that in 1953, the company changed its name to Allegheny Airlines that was supposed to create a positive effect on the public image on the company’s brand since the new name was supposed to be more attractive to customers, easier to remember and, in fact, the new name symbolized the new epoch in the history of the company since it has changed or, to put it more precisely, enlarged its services, and, therefore, it has changed its name.

In general, the late 1940s – 1950s may be characterized as the period of growth and the first efforts to gain its own niche in the market of passenger service made by the US Airlines.

The history of the US Airlines in 1960s -1980s 
Nevertheless, the first decade and a half after the end of the World War II were basically characterized as the period of the formation of the company, while the real progress the US Airline had made during the following three decades when the company evolved from the regional company to the national leader which became a really powerful and serious company which could be able to compete not only on the national market but also had a potential to entering international markets as well. In this respect, it should be said that the growth of the company following 1950s formation period started with the considerable changes and innovations implemented in 1950s. Basically, 1960s may be characterized as the period of the great technological progress made by the company since it is during this decade the company had implemented important innovations in its services which increased their quality substantially that could not fail to affect the customers and their preferences. To put it more precisely, the technological innovations of the 1960s, started with the beginning of the use of Convair 580 service in 1965. The following year the first jet service was introduce with the debut of its first DC-9. In fact, this innovations may be viewed as a breakthrough in the functioning of the company because they were really important and what is more they were innovative. It is not a secret that the use of jet services in the mid-1960s was a really progressive step in the promotion of the company in the national market since it increased the quality of its services. Obviously, the use of this new service provided the company with a possibility to make the flights considerably faster and more comfortable compared to its competitors that had not implemented this service at the moment.

No wonder that by the late 1960s the company had a possibility to the market expansion since it simply needed to grow. This is why in 1968, Lake Central Airlines based in Indianapolis merged into the Allegheny Airlines (Rogers 2004). In fact, the following couple of decades were marked by the further expansion of the company and its transformation in the airline company operating nationwide. To put it more precisely, in 1972, Mohawk airlines merged into the company and by the late 1970s the company expanded its route network to the Southern US. It is worthy of mention that it is during this period the company had changed its name into the US Airlines that was quite a natural step since the company had been evolving in a company operating nationwide. This process was continued in 1980, when Pacific Southwest Airlines and Piedmont Airlines merged into the US Air (Williams 2003). It is in 1980s when the company started to use Boeing 737.

The history of the US Airlines in 1990s 
The 1990s were marked by the efforts of the company to enter the international markets. To meet this goal, the company launched its close cooperation with British Airways and in 1993, the company got a 300 million dollars investment by its partner, followed by reorganization targeting at the increasing effectiveness of the functioning of the company. As a result, the company started to modernize its fleet and in the mid-1990s it placed the order for a series of Airbus 320 which were supposed to enlarge its fleet and replace Boeing 737. It should be pointed out that the major goal of the company was to make its fleet less expansive and its service more available to an average customer. It is worthy of mention that in the late 1990s the company introduced its Metro-Jet service which attempted to compete with low-cost carriers in the East.

Conclusion: The US Airlines at the present days 
The early 2000s were marked by a profound crisis of the entire industry which affected the US Airlines dramatically. The crisis was provoked by the September 11 terror attacks and the following financial crisis and stagnation of the airline industry. As a result, within a year after the terror attacks the company was on its way to bankruptcy but due to the government-guaranteed loan it had managed to overcome the financial difficulties.

Nowadays, the company has partially recovered from the crisis of the early 2000s and regained its leading position in the national market. Today, the company pays a particular attention to the international markets and the international market expansion is one of its major objectives for the future.

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