Since the U. S. Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, Looking back to Boston – Volume 4

By: Category: AirlinesAirports Around the World

UAL DC-8-71 2

Soon after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 was signed, commercial flight operations (especially those of U.S. domestic airlines) began to change. New companies operating large and small airliners popped up, older, established companies went bankrupt and ceased operations, and many less profitable companies merged with others for financial considerations. The major U.S. airlines adopted the hub-and-spoke system of connecting flights, searching for a profit.

TIA DC8-71

The Boston Logan International Airport, Massachusetts’ largest and busiest, bucked the trend a bit. As busy as it was, it did not become a hub for a major airline. Several companies fortified their operations, operating what is sometimes called a “focus” city schedule, but the market share was spread between the half-dozen national and a handful of regional airlines. International service also grew, with the advent of profitable trans-Atlantic air traffic. Aircraft like DC-8s and B-707s, once the staple of international air travel, became freight haulers and charter airframes, as newer DC-10, L-1011 and B-747 aircraft became mainstream.

AAL DC10-30

Here’s a look at some of the airlines and their larger, jet equipment used at Boston in the late 1980s and early 2000s. Very few of these airlines, or the aircraft they flew, are still active today, victims of the waves of economic changes of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and of the constant technological improvements of commercial aircraft.

Look back every few weeks, there’ll be more photos of classic airliners from Boston – from props to jetliners – and from surrounding New England and New York airports taken during the 1980s and 1990s.

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