Posts Tagged ‘Airliners International’

AI2024,Airliners International,Kansas City,Kansas City Municipal Airport,KCI,MKC,New Kansas City Terminal


By Marvin G. Goldman

The first airport in the Kansas City, MO metropolitan area was Richards Field which opened in 1922 at the border between Kansas City and Raytown, MO. It had limited commercial airline passenger service and was mainly utilized for air mail and military purposes.

As Richards Field proved inadequate for expanding commercial airline passenger operations, Kansas City built in 1927 a new airport in a sharp bend along the Missouri River close to downtown. Initially called “New Richards Airport,” its name soon became “Kansas City Municipal Airport” and was sometimes referred to as the “Downtown Airport.” The new airport received airport code “MKC,” presumably taken from “Municipal Kansas City.” A modern passenger terminal opened at this new airport in December

Another airport, called Fairfax Airport, was also established in the 1920s, located across the river from the Kansas City Municipal Airport. Some commercial airline flights operated from Fairfax in the late 1920s and into the 1930s, but it was mainly used for industrial purposes.

Kansas City Municipal Airport (MKC)

Aerial view showing Kansas City Municipal Airport (MKC) and its four runways at a sharp bend of the Missouri River with downtown Kansas City in the foreground. Fairfax Airport is on the other side of the river. Airline Issue by United Air Lines, no. 201, probably early 1930s. The scene on this postcard also appears in a colorized version published by Max Bernstein, Kansas City.
Passenger terminal at MKC that opened in December 1929, showing on the ramp Transcontinental Air Transport (T-A-T) Ford Trimotor 5-AT-5, NC9607.
Publisher (‘Pub’r’) Max Bernstein, no. 33548.
Upper view: Western Air Express Fokker F32, NC334N, at MKC;
Lower view: Administration building at Fairfax Airport across the river from MKC.
Linen finish card.
Pub’r Max Bernstein, Curteich no. 2A-H1029, 1932.

In October 1930 Transcontinental Air Transport, Western Air Express, and three other airlines merged to form Transcontinental and Western Air, later named TWA (Trans World Airlines). TWA established its headquarters in Kansas City and became the most prominent airline at MKC. It also established its maintenance and overhaul base nearby across the river at Fairfax Airport.

TWA Douglas DC-3 at MKC. Pub’r Max Bernstein, Curteich no. 2B-H1307, linen finish, 1942.
Night view at MKC with three TWA Douglas DC-3s. Pub’r Max Bernstein, Curteich no. 2B-H1308, linen finish, 1942.

The next most prominent airline at MKC after TWA was Mid-Continent Airlines, originally formed under the name Hanford Airlines in 1936. In 1938 the airline changed its name to Mid-Continent and moved its company headquarters to Kansas City’s Fairfax Airport. Mid-Continent merged into Braniff International Airways in 1952.

Mid-Continent Airlines Douglas DC-3 at MKC. Pub’r Max Bernstein, Curteich no. 7B- H400, linen finish, 1947.
American Airlines DC-3 at MKC. Pub’r R. B. Harness Greeting Card Co., Kansas City, no. 31716N.
Entrance to passenger terminal at MKC, late 1940s. Pub’r J. E. Tetirick, Kansas City, no. JT-3, ‘Mirro-Krome’ Card by H. S. Crocker Co., San Francisco, CA.
TWA Constellation at MKC, 1950s. Pub’r Smith Sales Co., Kansas City, no. 30384.
By 1955 TWA’s ramp area at MKC was crowded as seen in this group of TWA Lockheed Constellations and Martin aircraft. Pub’r Kansas Distributing Co., Junction City, Kansas, no. KC-8.
Braniff International Airways Lockheed L-049A Constellation, N2521B, at MKC, 1957. Pub’r Air Pictorial International, no. API 058. Braniff was another airline with a long history of service to Kansas City. The airline operated until 1982.
Braniff International Airways Convair 440-0, N3437, at MKC, October 1963.
Pub’r j j Postcards for Airliners International 2007 MCI, no. 1; Bob Woodling photo.
Frontier Airlines (the original Frontier) Douglas DC-3, N65276, and Central Airlines DC-3, N88794, at MKC, June 1962. Pub’r j j Postcards for Airliners International 2007 MCI, no. 5; Bob Woodling photo.
The original Frontier Airlines and Central served Kansas City for many years. Frontier purchased Central in 1967 and ceased operations in 1986.
A new airline using the same “Frontier Airlines” name was founded in 1994.
Continental Airlines Viscount 812 at MKC, April 1963.
Pub’r j j Postcards for Airliners International 2007 MCI, no. 2; Bob Woodling photo.
Continental operated from 1934 to 2012 when it merged into United Airlines.
Its first regularly scheduled service to Kansas City was in 1946.
TWA Boeing 707-331, N765TW, landing at MKC, January 1963.
Pub’r j j Postcards for Airliners International 2007 MCI, no. 7; Bob Woodling photo.
TWA eventually was acquired by American Airlines in 2012.

The Original “MCI” – Mid-Continent International Airport

In 1951 Kansas City suffered a great flood that severely damaged TWA’s maintenance and overhaul base and many other facilities at Fairfax Airport across the Missouri River from the downtown Kansas City Municipal Airport (MKC). Some facilities at MKC were also damaged. Moreover, the Kansas City, Missouri Municipality recognized that there was little room for any expansion of airline activity at the two airports. The Municipality started planning a new airport facility 15 miles (24 km.) northwest of downtown Kansas
City in Platte County, MO, away from the Missouri River.

The new airport opened in 1956. It was named Mid-Continent International Airport and received the IATA airport code MCI.

TWA moved its main overhaul base there, and Braniff established a hub at the new airport. However, the runways and terminals at each of MKC and MCI were too small to serve in the future as Kansas City’s main airport.

Most passengers still preferred to travel out of MKC because of its proximity to downtown. However, once jet aircraft started flying in and out of MKC, the jets had difficulty landing on the short runways, and taking off presented challenges because of the downtown skyscrapers. MKC was also congested. A 1963 report by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) described MKC as “one of the poorest major airports in the country for large jet aircraft” and asked that no more federal funds be disbursed for it.

The New MCI – Kansas City International Airport

As a result, Kansas City, with the encouragement of TWA, decided to convert the MCI site into a major, modern airport. This new airport, built on the MCI site and named Kansas City International Airport, was dedicated October 23, 1972 and officially opened for commercial service on November 11, 1973. The original IATA airport code MCI was retained for the new airport, so that’s how Kansas City International is MCI (rather than KCI).

After the new MCI opened, all airlines serving Kansas City moved their operations there, and Kansas City Municipal Airport (MKC) was converted to serve only general aviation. In October 1977 the name of Kansas City Municipal Airport was changed to Kansas City Downtown Airport, and the name was changed again in August 2002 to Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (Wheeler was Kansas City’s mayor 1971-

Kansas City International Airport (MCI) aerial view, probably in the 1980s, showing its three novel circular terminals with openings adjacent to car parking areas for easy passenger access. MCI opened for commercial flights in November 1973, replacing MKC (Kansas City Municipal Airport) as Kansas City’s main airport.
Pub’r Paragon Products, Kansas City, no. 881784; Bob Cunningham photo.
Curbside entrance to one of the circular terminals of MCI, showing the proximity of the car parking area. From each entrance, it was only a very short walk to check-in and the desired gate.
Pub’r J. Tetirick, Kansas City, no. 621143; Bob Cunningham photo.
Frontier Airlines (the original Frontier in a later livery) Boeing 737-200, N7389F, at MCI on May 26, 1979, with the gate side of one of the circular terminals in the background.
Pub’r LeAllan Henneberg, Platte City, Missouri; Dan Donovan photo. Ex Allan Van Wickler collection.
Aerial view of MCI, in two similar but different postcards.
When the airport opened with three terminals, a fourth was contemplated as drawn here, but it was never built. The airport authorities also envisioned that SST supersonic aircraft would regularly use its mid-continent location, but that did not happen either. Here the postcard publisher apparently couldn’t decide the direction in which the ‘SST’ would land, so both directions were printed, each having the same postcard number.
Pub’r Holiday Productions, Independence, Missouri; printed by Dexter Press no. 60505-C.

New Terminal at MCI, 2023

With mandated new airport security procedures following the 9/11/2001 terror attacks, the design of MCI’s three circular terminals became increasingly inefficient because there was inadequate room and separation areas available for passenger security screening. Moreover, the other terminal facilities were becoming crowded and outdated.

In 2017 it was decided to build a single modern terminal to replace the three old terminals. The City broke ground on the project in March 2019. Old Terminal A was demolished to build the new terminal in its place. Terminals B and C continued in operation only until the opening of the new single terminal.

On February 28, 2023, the new $1.5 billion single terminal opened. Its spacious interior is filled with natural light, and features upgraded technology and amenities, beautiful local artwork, and convenient gate access. Security checkpoints have been consolidated into one area with flexible features. There are 40 gates and two concourses. Passageways and glass passenger boarding bridges provide expansive
views of the surrounding airfield. I do not have any postcards yet of the new MCI terminal, but it is featured in many photos, videos, and articles on the internet. For example, follow this link for photos by the architect.

NOTES: All postcards in this article are from the author’s collection. I estimate their rarity as follows: Uncommon: United Airlines aerial view of MKC; T-A-T Ford Trimotor at MKC; Mid-Continent Airlines DC-3 at MKC; group of TWA Constellations and Martins at MKC; and Frontier 737-200 at MCI. The rest are fairly common.

I hope to see you at Airliners International™ 2024 MCI, 26-29 June 2024, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport Hotel. You can see the outstanding new MCI terminal in person while attending the world’s largest airline history and collectibles show and convention, with nearly 200 vendor tables for buying, selling, and trading airline memorabilia (including postcards, of course), seminars, the annual meeting of the World Airline Historical Society, annual banquet, tours and more. Follow this link for more information:

Airliners International™ 2024 MCI will include an airline/airport postcard exhibit area. Please consider submitting an exhibit entry. Follow this this link for postcard entry guidelines.

Happy collecting. Marvin.

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Airliners International,AirlinersInternational,aviation,collectibles show,Convention,WAHS

AI2023 Banquet Speech: David C. Powell & Connor McCauley

By David C. Powell

Editor’s Note: This speech was given by David Powell and Connor McCauley on June 24, 2023, at the annual Airliners International 2023-DFW Banquet.

Connor McCauley and I are here to talk about the appreciation we feel for the friendships that have resulted from these shows, beyond the models, barf bags and postcards and other items. What we’re here appreciating tonight is the part when all the fun talk about planes goes beyond that, to personal long-term friendships. 

Connor (L) and David (R) speak about the airline hobby and the other wonderful things and people involved in making this convention work.

Like so many of you, I’ve loved planes and trains since I can remember. My Dad would take me and my younger brother to Philadelphia (PHL) to see DC-8s Viscounts, Electras, 707s, CV 580s, 880s and Caravelles, some of which would disappear behind their own black exhausts until liftoff.

On my 10th birthday, my Dad took my brother and me on our first flights: a United DC-8 from Philadelphia to New York-JFK to take part in New York Airways helicopter rides. Our return was on the iconic TWA Connie from JFK back to PHL. 

When I was 14, Dad “volunteered” me to work in a travel agency where I hand-wrote tickets. I was mesmerized by the domestic and international OAG books.  I collected timetables, had and built models, hung posters on my walls all the while I was thinking, “yeah, ha, right…. me and about 20 other people in the world go for this kind of stuff.”

I discovered this hobby group at age 32 through a truly strange connection – an advertisement in, of all things, an ATP decal catalog that spoke of an airline show in Indianapolis, IN. I was working for Conrail and they transferred me to Indianapolis.

When I registered, this gentleman, Phil Brooks calls me and asked “How come we haven’t heard from you before? Are you new?” We met that day and went into the office where he worked at American Trans Air. That was July 1, 1987. I joined the local Indy group that Phil had started. 

Clint Groves, owner of ATP passed away a few years ago- but, I am grateful to him nonetheless, for placing that advertisement.  

That simple connection led to the mind-blowing event that followed: Phil was running the convention along with our great friend Art Smit-Roeters as his co-chairman, Art just passed at 92 in March 2023. 

The Indianapolis convention was attended by 770 similarly-minded folks!! Holy Cow. A whole new world had just opened up for me. I was beyond words, I was overwhelmed! Can anyone relate to this?

Phil was my first Airliners contact and we became fast friends. We decided to take a trip together. Our first trip was to Central America. We landed and took off from Tegucigalpa. In Guatemala City, we intended to ride a Convair 580 but it had a nose gear problem. Phil then sees this plane and says, “I don’t know where it’s going but we’re riding it!” It was an Aerovias Dart Herald! We rode it to Flores, Guatemala and back. We rode trains coast to coast in Costa Rica (for $3) Then on a regularly scheduled SANSA DC-3, once landing while standing up behind the pilots! We also rode a CASA 212 Aviocar. 

On an overnight at our hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica, in the middle of the night, I hear mumbling. I didn’t know where I was. Then Phil broke into “Britt Airways announces the departure of Flight 132 with service to Danville and Chicago. Please have your ticket out and available.” Well, at breakfast the next morning, I remembered this and asked Phil, “Did you ever work for Britt?”  Phil said, “I never told you that! How did you know?” I replied, “Because you made a boarding announcement in your sleep!” After much laughter, Phil said, “I did? NEAT!”

We then went to the Paris Air show, and he took me to the place where Charles Lindbergh stepped off his plane. 

We dipped our toes in the Arctic Ocean together at Tuktyoktuk and flew an Air North DC-3 pancake flight from Whitehorse to Fairbanks and then took the 12-hour train ride to Anchorage. 

We also flew on the the milk run aboard an Alaska 737-200Combi aircraft. 

We flew the world’s shortest scheduled commercial flight in the Orkney Islands together, only 2 minutes! 

It was his idea to use discounted Northwest miles to go to Sydney, Australia and return with a Honolulu stopover after a last-minute fuel stop in Noumea! 

Spent a weekend riding the US Air/Trump 727 Shuttles together. It all had been amazing.

My interest in trains had an effect on him for sure. What great times we have had together, a thousand wonderful and fun and funny memories. And a few absolutely astounding coincidences too! Thank you, Phil!

While at a mini-show with Phil in Atlanta in 1989, I met John Doan. We also became fast friends. I watched as he got hired by Eastern ATLRR in Atlanta and he would non-rev on DC-9s to visit me in Indianapolis.

I encouraged him to come to a Seattle show (we flew together on an Eastern A-300) and enter a model of his in the contest. He won a prize! We attended the show that featured Tex Johnson as the guest speaker. John was working the night EAL shut down.

We traveled to San Juan and flew on a Latin America Pass Frequent Flyer promo to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, as well as to Quito, Ecuador and Bogota, Colombia.

John has been a great friend. He would have been here but, he just moved to Vancouver. He still LOVES DC-9s and Super-80s. He even taught a parrot to say: “Dee-cee-Nine!”

Phil introduced me to Bill Demarest who was then living in my native Philadelphia area. Bill introduced me to Joe Crawford in Seattle in 1990. Joe had just missed the Hartford, CT show as he was attending Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL. He was handing out car rental coupons he was too young to use, and somehow got a group of us into the Admiral’s Club!

Joe and I started taking trips with lots of segments on American Airlines where he had status. We went to Panama and Belize and flew the SANSA DC-3 and a Trilsander together in Costa Rica as well. We once went to Edinburgh via Miami, New Orleans, and Dallas/Ft. Worth for the weekend!

In 1994, Joe suggested doing an incredible offer made by Chart House restaurants. Spend $25 in food at all 65 of their restaurants and they buy you two round trip tickets. Our first dinner was at Atlanta AI. 

Joe busted his left knee skiing at Mammoth Mountain on one trip. 

A group of us celebrated our 65th dinner during the Phoenix AI show at the Scottsdale Chart House. It was a truly amazing and magical night!

Joe got a medical waiver that day (knee) and joined the Rhode Island National Guard to fly C-130s!  Unforgettable celebratory night that all came together.

For the reward trip, in 1995 we flew Delta- Singapore-Swissair to New York JFK, San Francisco, South Korea, Taiwan, then Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport, Singapore, Phuket, Katmandu, Delhi, Bombay, Cairo, Rome, Switzerland and many more. The whole voyage took 28 days. 

A group of us got together one night at the CR Smith Museum celebrating Joe’s million miler passage in style! Amazing stories and loads of adventures! Too many to tell. Joe and I once went to Saba and climbed to the top of that mountain to have a view. He even once rented a plane and he flew us down the Hudson River flyway and circled the Statue of Liberty, plugged in a CD player with singing Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York! It was followed by a canoe ride on the Delaware River. Still my best day ever!  

We took a LOT of really fun and really great trips together!! It all made life really worth living!!! 

Valuable friendships happen here. It has been fun supporting Joe and watching him rise from instructor pilot to Kalitta, US Airways, Japan Air Lines and now flying the A321NEO at Hawaiian. Joe, you have been an amazing friend for 33 Years! 

There were 5 of us doing the lucrative Star Alliance promo that brought us together in Istanbul to get on that required THAI flight which flew three times per week from Munich.

I attended Tom Livesey’s wedding.

I was pallbearer at Joe’s dad’s funeral. 

We always had excellent and fun times with Scott O’Leary, and watched him go from college student to Aeroplan executive.

We miss Art, Paul K., Joe Yeager, and Jon Proctor. Jon published my article in May ’97 on my MGM Grand DC-8 trip roundtrip flight. Jon was a great guy; I even stayed at his place a few times. 

I could go on and on with trips and shared life experiences and long-term good friendships that have meant so much to me and so many. 

I wanted to share this sampling of these amazing experiences with you because I realize that NONE of them would have transpired if it weren’t for Clint, Phil, and this organization. None of these experiences!

WAHS has been a game-changer for me and I’m sure many of you. I don’t wish to think about what life would have been like if I’d never matched up with anyone here. Too much fun I would have missed. So, I am just mighty grateful.

Kind of a life lesson here: one simple act of sharing and inviting others can make a big difference.

I also think it’s good to stop for a moment to recognize all the great folks, who have, for years, sacrificed their time and energy to keep this organization and shows going and serving to facilitate not only the fun of the shows, but the extra great secondary benefit of the valuable friendships and enhanced life experiences that result from shows like this one. I’ve heard more than once attendees say, “I mostly go to these to see my friends again.” 

Many of us, like Connor, can relate to the joy of entering our first big annual show. There are hardly words to describe it all. It’s like coming home. It’s a feeling of, yes, I belong here, surrounded by like-minded aviation enthusiasts. These shows lead to friendships. 

Last year, while waiting in the check-in line at the Chicago show, I met this young man, Connor. It was his first show ever. He’s from a small town in Oklahoma. He didn’t know any aviation buffs there, so he started making aviation YouTube videos at age 10 to share his enthusiasm and love of aviation. There are now more than 35,000 followers of Red River Aviation of his Instagram feed and Youtube channel. Here is the simple act of sharing in motion.

Connor and his travels so far.

As you can see, I love taking trips with folks; you really get to know someone that way. In January 2023, Connor and I rode Amtrak from Oklahoma City to Ft Worth. We then took a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Miami, and a Delta 757-300 to Atlanta. We had a blast. You could hardly meet a smarter, more enthusiastic, joyful, and kinder person than Connor. We have more fun trips planned!

Connor and David on one of their many trips together!

And now, here is Connor to share a few words.

Connor thanks Bill, Chris, the board and all involved, how we met at Chicago, and ends by saying: “This Was the Best Week In My LIFE!”

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Airliners International,airlines,American Airlines,Central Airlines,Continental,CR Smith Museum,Delta,DFW,Eastern Air Lines,Fort Worth,Frontier,Houston,Houston Hobby,Jefferson County Airlport,Love Field,Meacham Field,postcards,Rio Airways,Southwest,Spirit,Texas,Trans-Texas


By Marvin G. Goldman

A warm welcome to Texas. I hope you enjoy our postcard trip through the skies of the Lone Star State as well as the Airliners International™ 2023 show and convention at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

This postcard shows a Trans-Texas Airways Douglas DC-3, airline issue late 1940s, with ‘linen’ finish.

Let’s start with postcards of airlines that served Texas and are now history, followed by leading airlines that continue to operate in Texas skies.

Braniff Airways Douglas DC-3 over Dallas, early 1940s, airline issue. Braniff Airways was incorporated in 1930. Originally based in Oklahoma, it moved its operation and maintenance base to Dallas Love Field in 1934 and its administrative headquarters to Dallas in 1942.
Braniff International Airways Convair 340, N3423, in service with Braniff during 1953-1967 (with an American Airlines Convair in the background), at Greater Fort Worth International Airport, Amon Carter Field. Braniff Airways changed its name to Braniff International Airways in 1948 and to Braniff International in 1965.
Of course, we cannot leave Braniff without noting one of its iconic “Flying Colors” aircraft. Here is Braniff International’s famous “747 Braniff Place,” Boeing 747-100, N601BN, airline-issued oversize postcard, 9 x 23 mm.  The aircraft, based at Dallas/Fort Worth airport, served in Braniff’s fleet from 1971 until the airline’s demise in 1982.
Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-2, NC13735, over Houston, Texas. Airline issue, 1936-37.  This postcard was republished in slightly different colors by Curteich in 1937 as no. 7A-H1739. Eastern’s predecessors started service in 1926, adopting the Eastern Air Lines name in 1934. In 1936 Eastern extended its route network to Texas by acquiring Wedell-Williams Air Service. Eastern continued as an airline until 1991.
Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-3 at Houston Municipal Airport (renamed Hobby Airport in 1967), probably in 1940s. Pub’r Bluebonnet News, Houston; printer Colourpicture H-12, 16910.
Central Airlines was a local service airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and operated in Texas and nearby states from 1949 until 1967 when it was acquired by the original Frontier Airlines. This postcard shows a Central DC-3 in a 1959 painting by Charles Hubbell to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the airline. Publisher John Stryker, Western Fotocolor, Fort Worth, Texas, no. 29462.
Frontier Airlines Convair 580, airline issue. On June 1, 1964, Frontier became the first airline to fly the Convair 580. This is the original Frontier Airlines that operated from 1950 to 1986.
Rio Airways de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter at Dallas/Fort Worth airport. Published by jjPostcards as part of a set of eight new postcards of aircraft at DFW presented to full convention registrants at Airliners International 2023 DFW.
Rio Airways was a regional airline headquartered in Killeen, Texas, that operated from 1967 to 1987 in several Texas cities and eventually in neighboring states. At times it served at DFW under the Delta Connection brand and then as Braniff Express.
 Trans-Texas Airways Douglas DC-3 “Starliner” flying over San Jacinto Monument, located about 16 miles east of Houston, Texas. A/I about 1949, printer Colourpicture, Boston, no. P1496, photo by Jim Thomas, Houston. Founded in the early 1940s, Trans-Texas changed its name to Texas International Airlines in 1969, and in 1982 it merged with Continental Airlines.
Continental Airlines Boeing 727-200, N29730, in service with Continental 1973 – 1995, airline-issued postcard featuring nonstop service to Houston, one of its major airport hubs.
Continental Airlines Boeing 777-200 at Houston International Airport, issued for the Airliners International show in 2002. Photo by Duane L. Young, and sponsored by jjPostcards—The World of Aviation Postcards.  Continental merged with United in 2010.

Now let’s turn to some of the leading airlines currently serving Texas. We start with American Airlines which has the longest continuous operating history in Texas and maintains its headquarters in Fort Worth near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

American Airlines Douglas DC-3 at Fort Worth’s municipal airport, Meacham Field, probably in early 1937.  Airline issue A-245-C. Predecessor airlines of American started operations in Texas in the 1920s, and American has grown its hub at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to be the second largest in the U.S. (after Delta’s Atlanta hub). At DFW airport American has had a market share of up to 86% of all passengers.
American Airlines Convair 240 at El Paso International Airport, 1948 to 1950s. 
Publisher Petley 653.
American Airlines Boeing 707 and 727-100 at Dallas Love Field, probably in the 1970s. Pub’r All-Tom Corporation, Arlington TX, Dexter Press D-21998-C. 
(I hope that Braniff BAC-1-11 knows where it’s headed.)
American Airlines MD-80s converging on its DFW airport hub, 1990s. 
Pub’r The Texas Postcard Co., Plano TX D-150, 711.
Delta Air Lines started operating in Texas, from Dallas, in 1929. This postcard shows a Delta Convair at Jefferson County Airport serving Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, in the 1960s. Pub’r Edwards News Co., Port Arthur & Beaumont, printer Curteichcolor.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200, introduced in 1995. Airline issue, 2000.
United Airlines “Houston” destination postcard. When Continental Airlines merged with United in 2010, United acquired Continental’s huge hub in Houston and then expanded it further. United is the largest airline at Houston, carrying over 70% of its passenger traffic.
Note: skyline pictured is actually Dallas, not Houston, TX.
Dallas, Houston, and other Texas airports are also served, of course, by many non-U.S. airlines. One of the earlier international entrants was KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Here is a KLM Douglas DC-8 at Houston (Hobby) International, 1960s. Pub’r H.S. Crocker MW-6.
Spirit Airlines Airbus A321, issued by Airbus Deutschland GmbH, no. 148. Low-cost Spirit serves over 20 destinations from Dallas/Fort Worth airport alone.
Frontier Airlines 737-200, N237TR, which entered service from Dallas-Fort Worth to Denver on September 24, 1999. Airline issue. The current low-cost Frontier Airlines started service in 1994 and now flies to some 20 destinations from Dallas alone.

We close with the airline that, along with American, is most associated with Texas skies – Southwest Airlines, also headquartered in Dallas. Southwest commenced operations in 1971 from its base at Love Field, Dallas. At first, it was an intrastate Texas airline, but in 1979 it started expanding to other states and eventually to international destinations as well. Today Southwest is the third largest airline in the U.S. (behind American and Delta) in terms of passengers carried.

Southwest Airlines 737-300, N352SW, in special “Lone Star One” livery designed in 1990 for Southwest’s 20th anniversary, here with a special passenger. Al Canales collection.
Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 on final approach to Dallas Love Field.
Al Canales collection.

NOTES: All postcards in this article are from the author’s collection unless otherwise noted.

Below is my estimate of the rarity of the above postcards:

  • Rare: Trans-Texas DC-3 with hostess, Braniff DC-3 over Dallas, and Eastern DC-2 over Houston;
  • Uncommon: Central Airlines, Trans-Texas DC-3 over San Jacinto Monument, Continental 727-200 Houston, American DC-3 at Meacham Field, American Convair 240 at El Paso, Delta Convair at Jefferson County Airport, and KLM DC-8 at Houston;
  • The rest are fairly common.

I hope to see you at Airliners International™ 2023 DFW, June 22-24, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, next to Terminal C at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. This is the world’s largest airline history and collectibles show and convention, with more than 200 vendor tables for buying, selling, and trading airline memorabilia (including, of course, airline and airport postcards), seminars, the annual meeting of the World Airline Historical Society, annual banquet, tours and more. 

Follow this link for more information on entering the postcard, model and photograph/slide contests.

Until then, Happy Collecting, Marvin

American Airlines postcard, artist Joseph Charles Parker, 5 x 7 in (12.7 x 17.8 cm).
Part of a set of historic posters in postcard form believed to have been issued several years ago by American Airlines’ C. R. Smith Museum, Dallas.

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47th Annual Airliners International™
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