Trans World Airlines (TWA)


         Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a major U.S.-based airline with hubs in St. Louis, New York (JFK), Denver and Kansas City. The airline operated from 1930 until it was acquired by American Airlines in 2001. Prior to the buyout, TWA was one of the largest domestic US airlines with flights from St. Louis (and to a lesser extent JFK) to every major US city. They also had a substantial feeder operation from smaller mid-west cities. Beyond the US, TWA had a highly developed European network served mainly from its JFK hub.



2000s Acquisition by American Airlines

Financial problems began to resurface shortly afterward, and TWA's airline assets were acquired by American Airlines in April of 2001. As part of the deal, TWA declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy (for the third time) the day after it agreed to the purchase. The terms of the deal included a $500 million payment. However, since American assumed TWA's liabilities, the deal was estimated to have cost American $2 billion. American did not claim the naming rights for the Rams' home, which eventually became the Edward Jones Dome, named after the financial services company with the same name.


TWA Flight 800

On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 exploded over the Atlantic Ocean near Long Island, killing all aboard. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the most likely cause of the disaster was a center fuel tank explosion sparked by exposed wiring. The cause is debated, but the media focused heavily on the fact that TWA's airline fleet was among the oldest in service.



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