Global Business Community (Macro-environment) ( Level 1).
Less than a generation after the Wright Brothers flight, entrepreneur Walter T. Varney launched his "air mail" operation on April 6th 1926, marking the birth of commercial aviation in the United States. Varney's operation was a predecessor of United Airlines and this venture marked the birth of the airline. During the 1920's United was a conglomerate of aviation related companies, eventually the U.S. government forced United to divest itself of all its non-airline affiliates and in 1930 United was free to establish its own course in commercial aviation. During World War II United trained more than 7000 ground crew members for the U.S. military forces and modified 5,736 bombers at its maintenance facility the Company also flew more than 7,000 flights across more than 50 million miles during its Pacific and Alaska airlifts. In all United transported more than 156,000 military personnel, 8,600 tons of freight and 9,200 tons of mail during that period. In the following decades United experienced several transformations with the introduction of the jet age and the deregulation of the airline industry. As the 20th century drew to a close, United redefined itself. Now operating in a deregulated environment, the Company inaugurated service to Europe and South America and expanded its number of Pacific Rim destinations. United also adopted a new livery and logo benefiting a global airline. Most important, United established its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), creating the world's largest majority employee-owned company. Presently, United Airlines is the principal subsidiary of the UAL Corporation. United accounted for most of the UAL's revenues and expenses in 2002. United is a major air transportation company, engaged in the transportation of persons, property and mail throughout the United States and abroad. During 2001, United carried on average, more than 210,000 passengers per day and flew more than 108 billion revenue passenger miles.