1930 – Western has the largest air system in the world, covering 16,000 miles with 40 aircaft.
1930 – First airline to fly a 4-engine passenger plane in the United States, the Fokker F-32. Western also offered the first reclining seats for airline passengers in the F-32.
1932 – First airline with airborne television reception (a one-time event). The broadcast, from an experimental TV station, features a then-unknown actress named Loretta Young.
1938 – First airline to place typewriters onboard for passenger use.
Western has the largest air system in the United States. Routes cover 4,765 miles from California to Dallas and Kansas City, and served by 40 aircraft.
Pioneers research in the use of two-way radios, radio marker beacons and radio compasses. With Boeing Aircraft Company, Western develops and uses the first air-to-ground radio.
Uses the first directional radio compass for air navigation.
The first $1 million airport terminal, which Western built, is at Alhambra, California.
Introduces the world's first four-engine airliner—the Fokker F-32—a luxurious wooden giant that carried 32 passengers and a crew of four.
Passage of the Watres Bill forces a merger of the routes of Western and Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT). Western continues to operate its original Los Angeles—Salt Lake City route independently. The company payroll is cut by two-thirds.
General Motors acquires control of Western through a subsidiary.
Western acquires Mid-Continent Air Express in October, with routes from Denver to El Paso and Dallas.
Western is the first airline with airborne television reception (a one-time event). The broadcast, from an experimental TV station, features a then unknown actress named Loretta Young.
Western changed its name to General Air Lines, and once again becomes an independent corporation under the control of General Motors.
All U.S. airmail contracts are cancelled with President Roosevelt's investigation of route awards and mail payments. Western (as General Air Lines) is awarded the San Diego—Los Angeles—Salt Lake City mail route and back to where it started in 1926.
Western's association ends with TWA when an independent Western Air Express Corporation is created, dissolving both General Air Lines and Western Air Express, Inc. Alvin P. Adams is president.
Western regroups by leasing and acquiring used Boeing 247D aircraft and operating them in conjunction with United Airlines. Hires female flight attendants—called "stewardesses."
National Parks Airways merges with Western, bringing service to the Montana region, including popular Yellowstone National Park.
Western begins flying 21-passenger Douglas DC-3 aircraft.
First airline to place typewriters onboard for passenger use.