"Western Airlines was born out of the same pioneering spirit that settled the American West." Jerry Grinstein, Western (and future Delta) chairman and CEO, on Western's 60th anniversary in 1986.
When it merged with Delta in 1987, Western was the oldest continuously operating airline in the United States. Service started April 17, 1926, when Western Air Express took off carrying mail from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City.
Western quickly launched a long string of industry firsts. Adversity and practical business needs spawned innovations in radio communications, weather tracking, marketing and in-flight services. Some are still in use today.
Learn more about Western's 61 years of achievement.
Western Historical Timeline, 1926-2004
Follow Western's history, decade by decade.