The following story will move Saturday morning as this week’s Sunday Spotlight, a feature showcasing the best off-the-news enterprise in the AP report:
NEW YORK — Airplanes are symbols of peace and unfortunately war. They bring humanitarian relief but also ferry troop into battle zones. Since the first commercial flight 100 years ago, planes have represented so much more than just getting from point A to point B. The giant pre-war route maps of KLM-Dutch Airlines, British Airways and Air France were proclamations of those nations’ colonial might. Decades later, the unprofitable Concorde was an attempt to show the world that Great Britain and France were still powerful world forces. When Libya wanted to hurt the United States, it wasn’t troops or embassies that were targeted but the country’s flagship carrier, PanAm. And Israeli airline El Al has been a target of anti-Semitism for decades. When a national carrier’s jet crashes, it often represents deep shame — look no further than the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Even the mechanical problems with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner brought embarrassment to Japan, which was proud to have engineered the plane’s electrical system and have its airlines be the first to fly the jet. By AP Airlines Writer Scott Mayerowitz. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.