A Trip Down Memory Lane, Part 2

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How many of these airlines do you remember, or have flown on? The airlines in this set of photos have not only ceased to operate as brands, but many of their aircraft pictured here are retired, or even don’t exist anymore.

Legacy airliners, mostly vanished from the skies here in 2019, were often colorful and cheap to continuously operate when fuel was inexpensive. Boeing 737-200s, Boeing 727s, Fokker 28s, and BAC 1-11s roarded into the skies, often trailing visible exhaust as emissions regulations were either non-existent or just being established.

Mergers have culled the active airline operator fleet today too… New York Air was added to Continental , Northwest Orient would merge with Delta, USAirways would later merge with American Airlines, and Republic merged with Northwest.

Still others couldn’t manage to stay afloat, and shut down operations without mergers, like Eastern Airlines, PeopleExpress and Empire.

Not just the airline companies had issues with continuing flight operations, but many older aircraft couldn’t be sustained for long. Economic viability grounded many smaller aircraft with 19 or fewer seats, like the CASAs, Dorniers, and larger turboprops like the Fokker 27 and Convair 580 lost their luster as fuel prices skyrocketed (relatively) from those a few years earlier.

The economics of flying passengers on three-engined DC-10s, MD-11s, and L-1011s lost out to new twins like the Airbus A-310 and Boeing 767. 

Enjoy the memories of these airlines and airliners, as they no longer take to the skies. And, look for the third part of this story with more photos of airlines and airliners who have disappeared over the past few decades – in about a month.

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Ken Kula

Assignment and Content Editor, writer and photographer A New Englander all of my life, I've lived in New Hampshire since 1981. My passion for all things aviation began at a very early age, and I coupled this with my interest of photography during college in the late 1970s. I spent 32 years in the air traffic control industry, and concurrently, enjoyed my aviation photography and writing adventures, which continue today. I've been quite fortunate to have been mentored by some generous and gifted individuals. I enjoy contributing to this great site, and working with some very knowledgeable and equally passionate aviation followers.

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