Sunday Trivia: The Stratocruiser

The epitome of romance when it comes to overseas travel in the “Golden Era” of airlines was the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser.  With two decks, fairly low fuel consumption and the ability to cruiser at 30,000 feet, this airliner represented the finest in travel.  It was slower than some airliners but none really equaled its luxury either.  Pan American Airways was the prime customer for this airliner and used it on both trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic routes.

Question:  What other airline purchased these aircraft new and flew them on trans-Atlantic routes?

The answer after the fold:

It was American Overseas Airlines.  American Overseas Airlines began life as American Export Airlines operating independently and only after fighting a long and difficult battle against Pan American Airlines who thought that PanAm should be the only “flag” airline serving international routes.

AEA was acquired by American Airlines and operated as a separate entity until American sold it to Pan Am in 1950.  The Stratocruisers and routes were a good fit into the Pan American system as Pan Am was already operating similar routes with similar aircraft.

Amsterdam, Schiphol Oost

Photo Credit: Flickr / Mistifarang – Primero UniCo de l’Escala!


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