Airborne Express is a cargo airline whose hub is at Wilmington, Ohio. Its
headquarters are in Seattle, Washington.
Airborne first saw its wings take off as the Airborne Flower Traffic
Association of California in 1946 to bring flowers to the state of Hawaii by air.
Airborne's first 22 years weren't that promising. Progress came slowly and
competition was stiff. But in 1968, the airline started going through some
changes. To begin with, Airborne of California merged with Pacific Air
Freight of Seattle. The airline moved its headquarters there and changed its
name to Airborne Freight Corporation.
Eleven years went by, and the airline changed its name once again, this time
to Airborne Express. After buying Midwest Air Charters, Airborne Express
made history by buying the Clinton County Air Force Base in Wilmington, and
becoming the first airline in history to own and operate an airport.
In 1988, Airborne started offering same day delivery after buying Sky Courier.
In 1991 Airborne received awards from 3 major companies, including Volvo,
and in 1992, the airline introduced Flight-Ready SM, a prepaid express
letters and packs system.
1993 saw Airborne introduce the Airborne Logistics System (ALS), which
provided Airborne with warehousing and distribution services.
In 1994, Airborne opened the Ocean Services Division, and ALS established
the first new film distribution program for Hollywood since 1944. In
addition, relations were established with Vietnam.
1995 saw the birth of the Airborne Alliance Group which took care of many
departments for the company. Airborne opened a second runway at Wilmington,
and Boeing 767 jets were added to the fleet.
In 1996 Airborne's stock tripled, which would later lead into a two for one
stock split in February 1998. Formed that year was Airborne Brokerage Services.
In 1998 Airborne entered the Fortune 500 list for the first time. Airborne's
first of 30 total 767's arrived at Wilmington, and the airline won an award
by The Business Consumer Guide.
In 1999, [email protected], an alliance with the United States Postal Service,
2000 was a year of multiple changes for the airline: Carl Donaway was named
the company's new president, leading a batch of managerial changes that
year. Also that year, Airborne started a ground service for the first time
in its history.
In 2001, Airborne Express launched Ground Delivery Service and 10:30 AM
Delivery Service. Airborne.com launched some services of its own, including
the Small Business Center and Airborne eCourier.
On August 14, 2003, Airborne shareholders approved the merger of Airborne,
Inc. with DHL of Brussels, Belgium. DHL is 100% owned by Deutsche Post World Net.