Braniff History Today - 11/23/1955

BRANIFF HISTORY TODAY - On this day, Wednesday, November 23, 1955 Braniff International Airways was awarded a new route by the Civil Aeronautics Board between the Southwest and the Northeast. The new route enabled Braniff to provide competitive service from Dallas Love Field to Newark, New Jersey, with intermediate stops at Memphis, Chattanooga, and Nashville, in Tennessee and Washington, DC. The new awards became available for use effective 60 days from November 23, 1955.

Several airlines, in addition to Braniff, were also awarded new service as a result of the Civil Aeronautics Board's findings in the Southwest To Northeast Service Case. The case was specifically initiated to improve airline service between Texas and Oklahoma and the Northeast, which included the destinations of New York City and Washington, DC. Delta Airlines, Trans World Airlines, American Airlines, Ozark Airlines, and Eastern Airlines were also awarded new services as a result of the case outcome.

The CAB placed two restrictions on Braniff's new route award. The first required that any Braniff flight originating in any city in one area must serve at least one city in one of the other two areas. If, for instance, a Braniff flight originated at New York or Washington DC, then it must terminate at one of the cities enroute in Tennessee or Texas. The second requirement called for Braniff to stop at Dallas, Ft Worth, Tulsa, or Oklahoma City if the flights originated south of Dallas or Ft Worth. Braniff could also operate Non-Stop flights as long as adherence to the two restrictions were maintained.

The CAB awarded American Airlines Houston to New York service with the stipulation that it also serve Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Delta Airlines received authority to operate from Atlanta to Newark via Charlotte, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Delta was also authorized to fly between Dallas and the Northeast cities but with a required stop at Atlanta in addition to Non-Stop service between Houston and New Orleans and the Northeast. Capital Airlines could no longer operate between New Orleans and the Newark and Washington, DC, via Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Trans World Airlines was awarded new service between Tulsa and Oklahoma City and New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. Ozark Airlines was authorized to add Paducah, Kentucky, to its route map and Eastern Airlines was awarded service from Pittsburgh to New Orleans with intermediate stops at Atlanta, Mobile, and Birmingham.

As a result of the awards, Braniff became American's direct competitor between Dallas and the New York area along with Delta Airlines although it was required to stop at Atlanta. Braniff also became a secondary competitor to Eastern between Houston and New York and between New Orleans and New York but with the single-stop restrictions. Braniff would also compete with Trans World Airlines between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and the Northeast. Braniff's new service from the Southwest to the Northeast was inaugurated three months later on February 15, 1956, using Douglas DC-6 El Conquistador aircraft.

Photo: Braniff International Airways Douglas DC-6 registered as N6887 is parked on the awaiting its passengers for the next flight. The four-engine airliner is being readied for departure in 1960.

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Photo: Private Collection, Copyright
Braniff Flying Colors Collection, Curator