With Texan swagger for bigger, better, brighter and bolder, going supersonic was in Braniff International’s DNA. In a special Key Publishing magazine on Concorde, Charles Kennedy delved behind the scenes of an unusual Concorde co-operation.
Braniff International was a big name in US airline transportation from 1930 until its bankruptcy and shutdown in May 1982. Starting out with Lockheed Vegas and Douglas DC-2s and DC-3s, the airline carved out a niche in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas and, after World War Two, won a South American route award that terminated in Buenos Aires. Mergers with Mid-Continent Airlines of Kansas City and Panagra (Pan American-Grace), a US carrier based in Panama, made Braniff International a US major.
In 1967, the airline caught the attention of the travelling public with a radical image makeover, steered by advertising executive Mary Wells: The End of The Plain Plane. The staid red and blue cheatline was out, replaced by a striking new livery in which every plane was painted a different bold colour (initially seven, later 15 hues) with white wings.