George Holt Thomas established the Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco) at The Hyde in Hendon, north London, England during 1912. Geoffrey de Havilland joined two years later as the chief designer. More than 2280 examples of the DH6 trainer were built and the DH9A became one of the outstanding strategic bombers of World War I. The company's DH16 and DH18 types were operated by Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited, the first airline established in the United Kingdom, that was also owned by George Holt Thomas. Following the cessation of hostilities the company's undue reliance on military orders became a handicap however and the company became bankrupt in 1920. Its assets were bought by the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) which did not pursue aviation-related business. The remains of the company were bought by de Havilland, and he renamed the company after himself.