» more from Business


When the Wright Brothers successfully launched their airplane from the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, N.C., on a chilly day in December, 1903, they likely never imagined the enormous global industry that would follow.

In 2010, commercial airline industry revenues topped $554 billion and are forecast to hit $598 billion in 2011, according to the International Air Transport Association. The growth over the last 108 years has been enormous, and so have the changes. Some were born of necessity, others of ingenuity, but many left an indelible mark on air travel.

Here, we take a look at some of those changes: the good, the bad and the inbetween — they're all "firsts" that changed the industry.

Posted 12 July, 2011
By Constance Parten, Senior Producer

CNBC Titans, Herb Kelleher, premieres Wednesday, July 13 at 9p ET.