IATA commemorates 100 years of commercial flight

New Year’s Day marked the 100th anniversary of commercial aviation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) inviting everyone with an interest in aviation to join a year-long celebration and “take part in a conversation about what needs to happen to make the next 100 years even more momentous”.


IATA commemorates 100 years of commercial flight


New Year’s Day marked the 100th anniversary of commercial aviation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) inviting everyone with an interest in aviation to join a year-long celebration and “take part in a conversation about what needs to happen to make the next 100 years even more momentous”.

On 1 January 1914, the St. Petersburg- Tampa Airboat Line flew the first scheduled air service, flying across Tampa Bay, Florida in the US. Percival Fansler, an engineer from Jacksonville, organised the funding for Thomas Benoist’s airboat, with pilot Tony Jannus at the controls. The first paying passenger was Abram Phell, then mayor of St. Petersburg, who paid US$400 at an auction for the 23-minute flight.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, $400 in 1914 is equivalent of $9,322.76 today. “Over the last century, commercial aviation has transformed the world in ways unimaginable in 1914. The first flight provided a short-cut across Tampa Bay. Today the aviation industry re-unites loved ones, connects cultures, expands minds, opens markets, and fosters development. Aviation provides people around the globe with the freedom to make connections that can change their lives and the world,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.