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Name:    Trans World Airlines
Profession:  Merchant
Born/Started:    1929
Description:    Trans World Airlines began operation in 1929. It was known then as Transcontinental and Western Airways (T&WA) and was nicknamed the "Lindbergh Line" after aviator Charles Lindbergh. Howard Hughes was its first director and became principal stockholder by 1939. Although he never held an official position with the airline, he owned and controlled TWA for the next 25 years. He was instrumental in bringing the Lockheed Constellation into service.

In 1950, TWA´s corporate name was changed to Trans World Airlines. TWA was one of the first airlines to utilize the DC-2 and DC-3 aircraft. It was also the first airline to fly "air hostesses" aboard planes in 1935, the first to provide inflight motion pictures in 1961, and the first to set aside nonsmoking sections in 1970. Also in 1961, TWA became the first airline to offer all-jet service on international flights. In 1967 it was the first to offer all-jet service on domestic flights.

The U.S. airline industry was deregulated in 1978 and Trans World Corporation was formed in 1979, with TWA as one of its subsidiaries. In 1985, corporate raider Carl Icahn acquired control of TWA and, a year later, TWA acquired Ozark Airlines. Icahn took the company private in 1989 and made a personal profit of $469 million, but as a result the airline was forced to sell some of its lucrative routes and declared bankruptcy in 1992.

In 1993, Icahn resigned, TWA completed its Chapter 11 reorganization, and its management changed to an employee-owned management team. For the next eight years, the airline continued to grow.

In 1994 its world headquarters and reservations unit was moved to St. Louis. However by 2001, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy again. In March 2001, TWA was acquired by American Airlines. {St. Louis-Home on the River, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "The History of TWA", March 13, 2001.]

St. Louis: Home on the River

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