United Airlines, one of the world's largest airline companies, is a product of several mergers of airline companies that were originally founded in the 1920s. Through the years United has experienced steady growth as a major domestic airline, pioneering the use of modern aircraft and equipment. After 34 years of leadership by William "Pat" Patterson, United has recently confronted problems with inept management, inconsistent profits, and strong competition and achieved its long-time goal of expansion across the Pacific.
United Airlines was created in the early 1930s by Bill Boeing's aeronautic conglomerate in order to exploit demand for air transport and to serve as an immediate market for Boeing aircraft. At first United was similar to a consortium, involving the participation of several independent airline companies. One of those companies was Varney Air Lines, credited with being America's first commercial air transport company.