Trans World Airlines – TWA for short – was a major international airline based in the United States. It rose to prominence globally from the middle of the 20th century just after World War II. Beloved by many and popular with Hollywood types, the airline serviced destinations throughout the world.

A variety of factors contributed to the airline’s final bankruptcy and eventual purchase by American Airlines in April 2001. Alas, much of the TWA workforce was laid off after the events in September that year. This removed much of the unique culture of that airline permanently.

A Video About TWA

Following on from the last video about Pan Am, we stay with Bright Sun Films for a look at “Bankrupt – TWA”. This runs for just over 18 minutes and I think it’s well worth a look.

Just like the other video, it all begins with a potted history of the airline, which was initially known as Transcontinental and Western Air. The iconic Lockheed Constellations are seen of course, marking the debut of transatlantic service in 1946.

With involvement at various times of people like Charles Lindbergh, Howard Hughes and the notorious Carl Icahn, the TWA story is an interesting one. Each time it seemed like the airline was turning around, something would happen to set them back again.

It’s amazing how the people who worked there kept the airline number one in customer satisfaction. What’s also fun is seeing some of the footage used in this video – even David Letterman makes an appearance.

Overall Thoughts

I’ve always found that TWA people are still passionate about the airline, even today. There seems to have been a real esprit de corps among the employees which is remarkable.

Sadly it all ended badly with so many laid off by American Airlines, who perhaps understandably, tried to protect their own people first. Either way, the achievements of TWA are many and will be remembered in the aviation industry.

Did you ever fly with TWA or even work for them? What were they like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Ralf Manteufel on ABPic via Wikimedia Commons.