Nugget of Knowledge: Longest-running airlines

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The oldest airline still operating in the U.S. has also made its mark with several firsts, including being the first to ban smoking and offer complimentary meals in coach

(WYTV) – Here are some of the oldest airlines in the world that are still flying:

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the oldest airline in the world. It merged with Air France in 2004.

Avianca, based in Bogot√°, Colombia, also started flying in 1919. It is the oldest airline in the Americas.

British Airways is another airline that celebrated its centennial in 2019. The first flights were London to Paris — not a far distance.

Australian airline Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services, or QANTAS for short, started flying passengers in 1920. Its nickname is the “flying kangaroo” and it has a reputation of being one of the best airlines in the world.

Russia’s airline, Aeroflot — meaning “air fleet”– first took flight in 1923 and became the largest airline in the world for a while.

A bit later in 1923, Czech Airlines took off to serve the new country of Czechoslovakia, which no longer exists.

Finland’s airline Finnair also took off in 1923 and is known today as the official carrier of Santa Claus because it regularly flies over the North Pole. It’s also known as one of the safest in the world.

The oldest airline still operating in the United States is Delta and it’s also one of the largest airliners in the world. Based in Atlanta, Delta first began carrying passengers in 1929. It was the first to offer complimentary meals in coach in 1959, the first to ban smoking on all of its flights in 1995 and the first to produce its own jet fuel in 2012.

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