I came across this in the provenance of a map of airmail routes in 1940:
Lloyd Welch Pogue (October 21, 1899 - May 10, 2003) American aviation lawyer and chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board. Pogue, a native of Grant, Iowa, was instrumental in forming the policy structure that led civil aviation through World War II and into the booming Post-War Period. He was appointed Chairman of the CAB by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and he served as Chairman until 1946. During his tenure Pogue helped strike down a plan for a single world airline.
(Italics mine) United States Air Mail Service Post Office Department.
I can find references to the 1944 Chicago Conference, in which Pogue was a major contributor, but I can only find mention of the results, the "Five Freedoms of the Air".
Was there a serious effort by any country or party to create "one world airline" in this period? If so, how instrumental was Pogue in defeating this idea and implementing the system that emerged? The issue (and its resolution) seems to me to be terrifically indicative of how the post-war order was envisioned.
It seems the idea of a Single World Airline was proposed at the 1944 Chicago Conference by Australia and New Zealand.
An excerpt from a 2006 Master's thesis by Joanna Mastalerek, titled The Future of the Open Skies Agreements after the ECJ judgements - Legal and Economic Aspects states:
… it was just consequent for the US to advocate a liberal, multilateral framework with open competition, market forces setting frequency and fares and unrestricted operating rights.
The European airline companies on the other hand were devastated by the war and feared that free competition in the civil aviation sector would be harmful to the further development of their infant aviation industries.
Great Britain, taking advantage of its leverage over landing rights throughout its Commonwealth, pushed for a more restrictive system by which governments would determine the terms of access on a bilateral basis rather than on an open, multilateral basis with common rules among all countries… To circumvent the sovereignty problem, Australia and New Zealand proposed the creation of a single world airline.
It was this proposal that Lloyd Pogue was instrumental at striking down at the 1944 Chicago Conference. The United States took the most 'free trade' position at the conference, against the more 'protectionist' positions of the other delegates.
According to his obituary in the Washington Post, as leader of the US delegation at the Conference he:
"showed other countries that their own national airlines would not suffer through treaties."
This effectively undermined any support that might have been created for the Australian / New Zealand proposal and ensured that it failed to get adopted at the conference.
For more detail, see:
Gidwitz, Betsy: The Politics of International Air Transport, Lexington Books, 1980, pp 49-50.
Levine, Michael E: Scope and Limits of Multilateral Approaches to International Air Transport (Note 6 on p87), in International Air Transport: The Challenges Ahead, OECD, Paris, 1993.