American Export Airlines Pilot Hat Badge
New York City, NY 1940-1945
American Export Airlines was founded in April 1937 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the shipping company American Export Lines. In 1939 AEA made an application to the US Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for routes across the Atlantic from the United States to the United Kingdom, France and Portugal. On July 15, 1940 approval was given to AEA for a seven-year temporary certificate. These services ended in 1944 when AEA started operations on behalf of the US Air Transport Command (ATC). In 1945, AEA was awarded transatlantic rights, which covered destinations in Northern Europe with the requirement that the shipping company (American Export Lines) divest itself of control and turn the control over to another carrier but the chairman of the board of AEA, J. E. Slater, remained. Consequently, enough stock was sold to American Airlines to give them control. The US CAB approved the acquisition of AEA by American Airlines on July 5, 1945. The AEA name was retained until November 1945 when AEA was renamed American Overseas Airlines. American Airlines operated AOA as a subsidiary but became disenchanted with AOA and offered AOA to Pan American Airways. On September 25, 1950 PAA purchased all the assets and routes of AOA.