Commercial sea bathing spread to the United States and parts of the British Empire by the end of the 19th century. By the late 1890s, Henry Flagler developed the Florida East Coast Railway, which linked the coastal sea resorts developing at St. Augustine, FL and Miami Beach, FL, to winter travelers from the northern United States and Canada on the East Coast Railway. By the early 20th century surfing was developed in Hawaii and Australia; it spread to southern California by the early 1960s. By the 1970s cheap and affordable air travel led to the growth of a truly global tourism market which benefited areas such as the Mediterranean, Australia, South Africa, and the coastal Sun Belt regions of the United States.
On January 5, 2015, Hawaiian refiled its previously rejected application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Kona-Haneda route with service, if approved, to begin in June. The request was prompted by a DOT decision in December 2014 to review the public interest in Delta Air Lines' Seattle-Tokyo route after Delta reduced the frequency of those flights from daily to seasonal. On March 31, DOT again denied the request, opting instead to allow Delta to continue operating the route, with American Airlines taking over if Delta's planned service continued to fail.
Although Germany lacked colonies, it also began expanding its services globally. In 1931, the airship Graf Zeppelin began offering regular scheduled passenger service between Germany and South America, usually every two weeks, which continued until 1937. In 1936, the airship Hindenburg entered passenger service and successfully crossed the Atlantic 36 times before crashing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 6, 1937. In 1938, a weekly air service from Berlin to Kabul, Afghanistan, started operating.
Other factors, such as surface transport facilities and onward connections, will also affect the relative appeal of different airports and some long distance flights may need to operate from the one with the longest runway. For example, LaGuardia Airport is the preferred airport for most of Manhattan due to its proximity, while long-distance routes must use John F. Kennedy International Airport's longer runways.
The next big boost for the airlines would come in the 1970s, when the Boeing 747, McDonnell Douglas DC-10, and Lockheed L-1011 inaugurated widebody ("jumbo jet") service, which is still the standard in international travel. The Tupolev Tu-144 and its Western counterpart, Concorde, made supersonic travel a reality. Concorde first flew in 1969 and operated through 2003. In 1972, Airbus began producing Europe's most commercially successful line of airliners to date. The added efficiencies for these aircraft were often not in speed, but in passenger capacity, payload, and range. Airbus also features modern electronic cockpits that were common across their aircraft to enable pilots to fly multiple models with minimal cross-training.
The world's largest airlines can be defined in several ways. American Airlines Group is the largest by its fleet size, revenue, profit, passengers carried and revenue passenger mile. Delta Air Lines is the largest by assets value and market capitalization. Lufthansa Group is the largest by number of employees, FedEx Express by freight tonne-kilometers, Ryanair by number of international passengers carried and Turkish Airlines by number of countries served.
In October 2015, Hawaiian Airlines announced that they will be upgrading their business class seats from the standard cradle seats to a 180-degree lie-flat seats on their A330 fleet in a 2-2-2 configuration. The new seats will be installed starting the second quarter of 2016. In addition to the new business class seats upgrade, the airline will add 28 additional Extra Comfort seating.