Air travel has lost its romance – have we flown too close to the ...

World

Air travel has lost its romance – have we flown too close to the sun?

A century on, the concern is not so much ‘look how far we’ve come’ as ‘have we gone too far?’

Hugh Morris

On August 25 1919, staff of Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T) loaded cargo of jam, Devonshire cream, newspapers and a brace of grouse onto a single-engine DH16 on the turf at Hounslow Heath Aerodrome.

The lone passenger hopped aboard and the plane was ready for take-off: 100 years ago this week, Lieutenant EH “Bill” Lawford piloted the first scheduled international passenger service into the bluebird skies of southern England, bound for Paris.

Little did anyone involved in AT&T know that a century later it would feel as though air travel was coming to a head, as if aviation was given 100 years to evolve as far as it could, and 100 years only...

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