An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines utilize aircraft to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for codeshare agreements. Airline companies are recognized with an air operating certificate or license issued by a governmental aviation body. Airlines vary in size, from small domestic airlines to full-service international airlines with double decker airplanes. Airline services can be categorized as being intercontinental, regional, or international, may be operated as scheduled services or charters; the largest airline is American Airlines Group. DELAG, Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft I was the world's first airline, it was founded on November 16, 1909, with government assistance, operated airships manufactured by The Zeppelin Corporation. Its headquarters were in Frankfurt; the first fixed wing scheduled airline was started on January 1, 1914, from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Tampa, Florida.
The four oldest non-dirigible airlines that still exist are Netherlands' KLM, Colombia's Avianca, Australia's Qantas, the Czech Republic's Czech Airlines. The earliest fixed wing airline in Europe was Aircraft Transport and Travel, formed by George Holt Thomas in 1916. Using a fleet of former military Airco DH.4A biplanes, modified to carry two passengers in the fuselage, it operated relief flights between Folkestone and Ghent. On 15 July 1919, the company flew a proving flight across the English Channel, despite a lack of support from the British government. Flown by Lt. H Shaw in an Airco DH.9 between RAF Hendon and Paris – Le Bourget Airport, the flight took 2 hours and 30 minutes at £21 per passenger. On 25 August 1919, the company used DH.16s to pioneer a regular service from Hounslow Heath Aerodrome to Le Bourget, the first regular international service in the world. The airline soon gained a reputation for reliability, despite problems with bad weather, began to attract European competition.
In November 1919, it won the first British civil airmail contract. Six Royal Air Force Airco DH.9A aircraft were lent to the company, to operate the airmail service between Hawkinge and Cologne. In 1920, they were returned to the Royal Air Force. Other British competitors were quick to follow – Handley Page Transport was established in 1919 and used the company's converted wartime Type O/400 bombers with a capacity for 12 passengers, to run a London-Paris passenger service; the first French airline was Société des lignes Latécoère known as Aéropostale, which started its first service in late 1918 to Spain. The Société Générale des Transports Aériens was created in late 1919, by the Farman brothers and the Farman F.60 Goliath plane flew scheduled services from Toussus-le-Noble to Kenley, near Croydon, England. Another early French airline was the Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes, established in 1919 by Louis-Charles Breguet, offering a mail and freight service between Le Bourget Airport and Lesquin Airport, Lille.
The first German airline to use heavier than air aircraft was Deutsche Luft-Reederei established in 1917 which started operating in February 1919. In its first year, the D. L. R. Operated scheduled flights on routes with a combined length of nearly 1000 miles. By 1921 the D. L. R. Network was more than 3000 km long, included destinations in the Netherlands and the Baltic Republics. Another important German airline was Junkers Luftverkehr, which began operations in 1921, it was a division of the aircraft manufacturer Junkers, which became a separate company in 1924. It operated joint-venture airlines in Austria, Estonia, Hungary, Norway, Poland and Switzerland; the Dutch airline KLM made its first flight in 1920, is the oldest continuously operating airline in the world. Established by aviator Albert Plesman, it was awarded a "Royal" predicate from Queen Wilhelmina, its first flight was from Croydon Airport, London to Amsterdam, using a leased Aircraft Transport and Travel DH-16, carrying two British journalists and a number of newspapers.
In 1921, KLM started scheduled services. In Finland, the charter establishing Aero O/Y was signed in the city of Helsinki on September 12, 1923. Junkers F.13 D-335 became the first aircraft of the company, when Aero took delivery of it on March 14, 1924. The first flight was between Helsinki and Tallinn, capital of Estonia, it took place on March 20, 1924, one week later. In the Soviet Union, the Chief Administration of the Civil Air Fleet was established in 1921. One of its first acts was to help found Deutsch-Russische Luftverkehrs A. G. a German-Russian joint venture to provide air transport from Russia to the West. Domestic air service began around the same time, when Dobrolyot started operations on 15 July 1923 between Moscow and Nizhni Novgorod. Since 1932 all operations had been carried under the name Aeroflot. Early European airlines tended to favor comfort – the passenger cabins were spacious with luxurious interiors – over speed and efficiency; the basic navigational capabilities of pilots at the time meant that delays due to the weather were commonplace.
By the early 1920s, small airlines were struggling to compete, there was a movement towards increased rationalization and consolidation. In 1924, Imperial Airways was formed from the merger of Instone Air Line Company, British Marine Air Navigation, Daimler Airway and Handley Page Transport Co Ltd. to allow British airlines to compete with stiff competition from French and German airlines that were enjoying heavy government subsidies. The ai
Tonga the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian country and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 750 square kilometres scattered over 700,000 square kilometres of the southern Pacific Ocean; the sovereign state has a population of 100,651 people, of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu. Tonga stretches across 800 kilometres in a north-south line, it is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east, Kermadec to the southwest, New Caledonia and Vanuatu to the farther west. It is about 1,800 kilometres from New Zealand's North Island. Tonga became known in the West as the "Friendly Islands" because of the congenial reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit in 1773, he arrived at the time of the ʻinasi festival, the yearly donation of the First Fruits to the Tuʻi Tonga and so received an invitation to the festivities. According to the writer William Mariner, the chiefs wanted to kill Cook during the gathering but could not agree on a plan.
From 1900 to 1970, Tonga had British protected state status, with the United Kingdom looking after its foreign affairs under a Treaty of Friendship. The country never relinquished its sovereignty to any foreign power. In 2010, Tonga took a decisive path towards becoming a constitutional monarchy rather than a traditional absolute kingdom, after legislative reforms passed a course for the first partial representative elections. In many Polynesian languages, including Tongan, the word tonga comes from fakatonga which means "southwards", as the archipelago is the southernmost group of the islands of central Polynesia; the word tonga is cognate to the Hawaiian region of Kona, meaning leeward in the Hawaiian language. An Austronesian-speaking group linked to the archaeological construct known as the Lapita cultural complex reached and inhabited Tonga around 1500–1000 BC. Scholars have much debated the exact dates of the initial settlement of Tonga, but Thorium dating confirms that the first settlers came to the oldest town, Nukuleka, by 888 BC, ± 8 years.
Not much is known before European contact because of the lack of a writing system, but oral history has survived and been recorded after the arrival of the Europeans. By the 12th century and the Tongan paramount chief, the Tuʻi Tonga, had a reputation across the central Pacific—from Niue, Rotuma, Wallis & Futuna, New Caledonia to Tikopia—leading some historians to speak of a Tuʻi Tonga Empire. In the 15th century and again in the 17th, civil war erupted; the Tongan people first encountered Europeans in 1616 when the Dutch vessel Eendracht, captained by Willem Schouten, made a short visit to trade. Came other Dutch explorers, including Jacob Le Maire. Noteworthy European visitors included James Cook in 1773, 1774, 1777; the US Exploring Expedition visited in 1840. In 1845, the ambitious young warrior and orator Tāufaʻāhau united Tonga into a kingdom, he held the chiefly title of Tuʻi Kanokupolu, but had been baptised by Methodist missionaries with the name Siaosi in 1831. In 1875, with the help of missionary Shirley Waldemar Baker, he declared Tonga a constitutional monarchy.
Tonga became a protected state under a Treaty of Friendship with Britain on 18 May 1900, when European settlers and rival Tongan chiefs tried to oust the second king. The treaty posted no higher permanent representative on Tonga than a British Consul. Under the protection of Britain, Tonga maintained its sovereignty, remained the only Pacific nation to retain its monarchical government; the Tongan monarchy follows an uninterrupted succession of hereditary rulers from one family. The 1918 flu pandemic, brought to Tonga by a ship from New Zealand, killed 1,800 Tongans, reflecting a mortality rate of about eight per cent; the Treaty of Friendship and Tonga's protection status ended in 1970 under arrangements established by Queen Salote Tupou III prior to her death in 1965. Tonga joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970, became a member of the United Nations in September 1999. While exposed to colonial pressures, Tonga has always governed itself, which makes it unique in the Pacific; as part of cost-cutting measures across the British Foreign Service, the British Government closed the British High Commission in Nukuʻalofa in March 2006, transferring representation of British interests to the High Commissioner in Fiji.
The last resident British High Commissioner was Paul Nessling. Tonga is a constitutional monarchy. Reverence for the monarch replaces that held in earlier centuries for the sacred paramount chief, the Tuʻi Tonga. Criticism of the monarch is held to be contrary to Tongan etiquette. King Tupou VI, his family, powerful nobles and a growing non-royal elite caste live in much wealth, with the rest of the country living in relative poverty; the effects of this disparity are mitigated by education and lan