Commercial aviation turns 100

On January 1, 1914, a team of four visionaries combined efforts in the first scheduled commercial airline flight. Percival Fansler organised the funding for the St. Petersburg Tampa Airboat Line which provided the first scheduled air service across Tampa Bay, Florida; and Abram Pheil, then Mayor of St. Petersburg, paid $400 at an auction for the 23-minute flight.

Though the industry began with only one passenger on a single route in 1914, the global aviation industry today provides unprecedented connectivity and impacts people everywhere — directly and indirectly.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of commercial aviation, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has lined-up year-long celebrations. The global airline industry’s turnover is expected to be $743 billion in 2014, with an average industry net profit margin of 2.6 per cent.

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