Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Braniff Airways

  • Braniff International Airways was an American airline that existed from 1928 until 1982. It operated in the central midwest, South America, Panama, Asia and Europe. The airline ceased operations on May 12, 1982, a victim of escalating fuel prices, aggressive expansion, and fierce competition.

    Braniff International Airways - McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, April 19, 1974. (Photo copyright George W. Hamlin)

  • In 1928 an insurance salesman and financier named Thomas E. Braniff financed an aviation company with his brother Paul Revere Braniff, named Paul R. Braniff, Inc. The airline was named Tulsa Oklahoma City Airways and offered passenger service between most of the major cities in Oklahoma.

    Braniff International Airways - McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, June 12, 1977. (Photo copyright George W. Hamlin)

  • During the 1950s the airline expanded nationwide. The acquisition of Mid-Continent Airlines in 1952 allowed Braniff to add several more domestic cities to its already established north-south route system. Eventually Braniff was purchased by what was to become today's American Airlines.

    Braniff International Airways - Boeing 727-2B7 at Houston - George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Texas, December 24, 1979. (Photo copyright George W. Hamlin)

  • Charles "Chuck" Beard became the first non-Braniff President of the carrier after the deaths of the Braniff brothers in 1954. He would lead Braniff into the jet-age with the introduction of the Boeing 707 in 1959, and would be instrumental in turning Braniff into a 95% jet carrier by 1965.

    Braniff International Airways - Boeing 747-127 at Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport, Texas, October 11, 1981. (Photo copyright George W. Hamlin on Airliners.Net)

  • In 1970, Braniff accepted delivery of the 100th Boeing 747 built, a 747-127 model, N601BN and began "jumbo jet" service to Hawaii on January 15, 1971. This plane, dubbed "747 Braniff Place" and "The Most Exclusive Address In The Sky", became the flagship of the airline. (Pictured below in Germany)

    Braniff International Airways - Boeing 747-127 at Frankfurt - Main (Rhein-Main AB), Germany, August 29, 1980. (Photo copyright Gerhard Plomitzer on Airliners.Net)

    Major Pepperidge said...

    Braniff had some pretty interesting outfits for their stewardesses too!

    Viewliner Ltd. said...

    Yes they did Major. I am putting together a stewardess post from the LIFE pictures. What an incredible resource. Great pics and Fun too!

    walterworld said...

    Thanks for the background on Braniff...!

    I remember seeing their planes as a boy when I'd travel to the airport. It was great fun peering through the glass at SFO and checking out the variety of planes and their respective liveries.