From Howard Hughes to Sally Ride and even to Harrison Ford, there have been millions of people who have been captivated by the concept of aviation. Ever since the Wright brothers first took off in their Wright Flyer just outside of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, countless careers have been spawned from this discipline. But if you think you know everything there is to know about aviation, then you are quite mistaken. Consider these five (5) very surprising facts about this fascinating subject:
An airplane either lands or takes off about twice a minute at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
O’Hare Airport in Chicago has just overtaken Atlanta as the busiest airport in the United States, and it’s no wonder when you think about it. Believe it or not, an airplane either lands or takes off at least once every 37 seconds at this popular airport. Indeed, the flight attendants at this bustling airport are using the phrase “please prepare for gate departure” a tremendous amount of time throughout of a day at this Chicago airport!
The world’s oldest airline is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
This commercial airline was established in 1919, just a scant 16 years after the Wright brothers first flew the first airplane. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the longest continuously running airline to operate under its original name. It was first established by a group of eight businessmen on October 7, 1919, and it was granted the “Royal” in its name by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
The first “business class” airline designation was created in 1979.
It has been estimated that over 12 percent of all flights per years is done by business travelers. However, airlines love to cater to these travelers simply because they realize they will usually make about 75 percent of their profits from these individuals. Part of the reason for this is because companies used to emphasize saving money when their employees made a business trip.
However, that pendulum has shifted simply because many managers now realize that it doesn’t help their bottom line at all if their business traveler is worn out or stressed when they arrive at their destination. Now, many of these companies emphasize comfort, and airlines have stepped up to the plate with many options. Even though a business ticket will normally cost about ten times a regular economy flight, companies are more than willing to pay that extra amount.
A very small percentage of the world has been on an airplane.
Surprisingly, only about five percent of the population of Earth has ever flown on a commercial airplane. Flights might seem commonplace to us simply because we are not from an impoverished part of the world. However, an extremely poor individual from Africa or other poverty-stricken areas might go an entire lifetime without ever flying on one of these jets.
Qatar Airways holds the record for the longest flight.
Qatar Airways hosts a flight from Doha, Qatar that goes all the way to Auckland, New Zealand for a total of 14,525 kilometers (just over 9,025 miles). Talk about some jet lag!
The next time you go on an airline flight, remember some of these unique facts. It is a huge privilege to be able to engage in air travel, that is for sure.