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American Airways was developed from a conglomeration of 82 small airlines through acquisitions in 1930 and reorganizations: initially, American Airways was a common brand by a number of independent carriers. These included Southern Air Transport in Texas, Southern Air Fast Express (SAFE) in the western US, Universal Aviation in the Midwest (which operated a transcontinental air/rail route in 1929), Thompson Aeronautical Services (which operated a Detroit-Cleveland route beginning in 1929) and Colonial Air Transport in the Northeast. Like many early carriers, American earned its keep carrying US Mail.

 

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