March 31 in aviation: British Airways and Swiss International Air Lines start operations.

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On March 31, 1944, a "flying boat" carrying Admiral Mineichi Koga, the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Imperial Navy's Combined Fleet, disappeared after taking off from Babelthuap. The wreckage of the aircraft or the bodies of the passengers was never found.

A second flying boat carrying Rear Admiral Shigeru Fukudome from Koga's staff made the same trip, and the aircraft crashed due to a storm. Fukudome spent two weeks in the hands of the natives of Cebu before being rescued.

Shigeru_Fukudome_Mineichi_Koga

Other aviation events on March 31.

An Iberia Airlines plane crashed into the sea near Tangier.

On March 31, 1965, an Iberia Airlines aircraft, a Convair 440, crashed into the sea near Tangier, killing 47 of the 51 people on board the aircraft.

Japan Airlines Flight 351 was hijacked in North Korea.

On March 31, 1970, Japan Airlines Flight 351, a Boeing 727, was hijacked in North Korea by a faction of the Japanese Red Army. On the plane were Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, the Japanese pop singer - Mita Akira and Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara - who will become one of the longest-lived doctors and educators in the world.

British Airways has begun operations.

On March 31, 1974, British Airways began operations after BOAC and British European Airways merged to form the new airline.

Flight 940 of Mexicana crashed in Mexico.

On March 31, 1986, Mexicana Flight 940, a Boeing 727, crashed on a high ground near Santiago Maravatío, Mexico. All 167 passengers and crew on board the aircraft were killed in the worst air disaster involving a Boeing 727 aircraft.

Flight 371 operated by TAROM crashed near Balotești.

On March 31, 1995, Flight 371 operated by TAROM, an Airbus A310 plane, crashed near Balotești, Romania, killing all 60 passengers on board the aircraft.

Swiss International Air Lines has started operations.

On March 31, 2002, Swiss International Air Lines began operations, taking over many routes after the bankruptcy of Swissair.

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