This is a classic airline commercial for Western Airlines from 1981 that highlighted their DC-10 service from London to Hawaii.

Western Airlines had a fleet of 10 DC-10s by the time they merged with Delta Air Lines.

Thanks Drew for pointing this one out!

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They say “direct” but it can’t possibly be non-stop. The great circle distance is 7,237 miles and the longest range DC-10 (-30) could do 6,600 miles. Heck even most current planes won’t make unless you get ER/LR models.

Western was on the move in the early 80s. In January 1981, it launched non-stop service from London Gatwick to Anchorage, Alaska, flying on to Honolulu. On April 28, 1981 this was joined by a non-stop London to Denver service using the airline’s “DC-10 SpaceShips”. The London service would be removed from the network less than 2 years later. Miami had been added in 1974, DFW and Washington D.C. were added in the early 80’s. By 1981 the proposed merger with Continental was definitely off.


I would just like to chime in from here in ANC ( and my memories at airport during the 80s) that I can’t recall WAL ever launching non-stop ANC UK Gatwick service. I do remember that once they started ANC HNL ‘Triangle’ service – their DC-10 fleet were hard pressed to keep up demands of rapid De-Regulation expansion. I believe it was pending approval, or other reasons that failed to launch service. Yes a DC-10 30/40 flew ANC – Europe nonstop (about 5000 sm), and SAS pioneered that service ANC – CPH in the early 80s. WAL was a wonderful airline (free cheap champagne), and great history in Alaska with legendary Pacific Northern Airlines.

Did I read the end correctly: London-Hawaii from GBP 372 return (i.e., round trip) ??

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