CROYDON: how London’s ‘first’ hub airport captured the 1930s air travel boom

Competition was hotting-up between British and intercontinental airlines as a new decade of flight aboard now-legendary types beckoned for the well-heeled. In the third of our six-part series  – with fascinating images of the era – Croydon’s response to growing domestic and international demand comes  into focus

The Croydon Airport of the 1920s had been synonymous with the spirit of the age, with air races, aerial record attempts and pioneering route-proving flights, establishing a reputation as a mecca for the romance of flight and heroic daredevil flyers. But as the decade progressed, British and European commercial aviation became established with reliable scheduled services. Aircraft manufacturers developed larger and more sophisticated airliners that swept away older designs with their cramped, cold and draughty passenger cabins and uncovered cockpits that left the intrepid pilots exposed to the elements. In their place, new designs brought greater capacity, safety and comfort, and the airlines, now on a firmer footing with government backing, sought to compete and to differentiate themselves based on service.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below