First commercial flight
As a publicity stunt, Phil O. Parmalee, on behalf of the Morehouse-Martens Department Store, carries one bolt of silk from Dayton to Columbus, Ohio.
First transatlantic passenger flight
Passengers pay $375 ($5,882 today) for a one-way trip from New York to Marseilles, France, on Pan American. Scheduled flying time: 29 hours.
Federal Express launches
Fred Smith, a young entrepreneur, spearheads the eventual split between passenger and freight air traffic. Within a decade, FedEx is a $1 billion company.
Frequent-flier programs take off
American Airlines introduces AAdvantage to its top 150,000 fliers. Today, more than 50 million people have signed on to the program.
First commercial flight using sustainable fuels
Virgin Atlantic flies a Boeing 747-400 from London to Amsterdam using a 20% mix of babassu oil and coconut oil in one of its fuel tanks.
American Airlines offers online access on select flights for $12.95. The following year, Virgin brings all flights online.
Now the third-largest airline in Europe, Ryanair announces plans to roll out vertical seats (otherwise known as practically standing) and to charge passengers to use the loo.
A version of this article appeared in the November 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.