The Eastern Air Lines shuttle was a pioneering idea in the busy US North-east market offering no-reservation guaranteed seat service between the super busy business destinations of New York, Washington and Boston. There are few markets that can support such a concept but travel from the UK regions to the London Heathrow was always a good contender. In 1975 the new British Airways decided to see if it could replicate the massive success of Eastern’s shuttle in the UK.
Chinese aviation has certainly come a long way in the past 30 years or so - see my history of Chinese airline development. I have a vague fondness for the original Civil Aviation Administration of China's (CAAC) airline as their 747SPs (hello Gemini wakey wakey) were regular visitors to London Gatwick when I was a kid.
Still the creation of some competition and the 6 initial separate regional airlines (China Eastern, Southern, Southwest, Northern, Northwest and Air China) in 1987 was a major step forward for Chinese aviation which hasn't looked back since. CAAC itself didn't have the best reputation hence the spurious acronym in the blog title - one of several that existed at the time!
Air Ceylon came into being even before independence in 1948 when the airline was setup the year before with a trio of war surplus DC-3s. The aircraft were used for route proving trials, pilot training and flood relief operations prior to the December 10th start of scheduled operations.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: