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Western Airlines

Western Airlines was a large airline that operated, just like the name indicated, mostly around the western United States area.

Western at gate

In 1925, the United States Postal Service began to give airlines contracts to carry air mail all around the country. And a company named Western Air Express applied to be awarded the air mail route from Salt Lake City in Utah to Los Angeles. In April of 1926, Western's first flight took place with a Douglas M-2 airplane. The month after, passenger services started.

In 1930, Western added two Fokker F32 and mergered with Transcontinental Air Transport to form TWA. However, Western Air Transport soon broke off from TWAs structure and in 1934, it changed its name to General Airlines. By 1941, General changed its name to Western Airlines.

Western grew into a large regional airline by acquiring such planes like the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, Boeing 727 and Boeing 737 planes. At a time, during the 1970s and 1980s, it flew to many cities across the American Southwest and to various spots in Mexico and Canada, while keeping a large intra-state route structure in its home state of California. In 1979, Western had a tragedy happen when a DC-10 landing at Benito Juarez International Airport crashed, killing most of its passengers.

In the early '80s, Air Florida tried at many times to buy over Western Airlines, but it was only able to gather a 16 percent of the airline's stock. Western became a prominent sponsor of the Bob Barker television show The Price is Right, to try to make customers from the East more aware of their presence. Finally, in 1987, Western Airlines was bought over by Delta Airlines, and it merged fully into that airline.