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Delta Airlines: A Major U.S. Airline

In December 2006 Delta Airlines will begin making non-stop flights to Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal, from which point direct flights will continue on to Johannesburg, South Africa. This will make Delta Air Lines the only major United States airline to offer flight services to that continent.

Delta Airlines has been a pioneer in the commercial aviation industry since its inception in 1924 when it became the world’s very first crop dusting company. In the following year the company moved to Monroe, Louisiana where it was purchased by C.E. Woolman and gained the title Delta Air Services.

Named after the Mississippi Delta, this early incarnation of Delta Airlines had its major routes connecting Jackson, Mississippi to Dallas, Texas, Monroe and Shreveport, Louisiana.

Around the same time Delta Air started carrying mail back and forth between Fort Worth and Charleston, South Carolina, as well as Atlanta, Georgia and various other cities in Georgia.

In the year 1941 Delta changed headquarter location to Atlanta, Georgia. This move marks the beginning of a major growth spurt in both national commercial aviation as well as substantial company growth as Delta connected to other major U.S. cities such as New York, Chicago and New Orleans and a little later, cities in Ohio and Florida.

In the 19070s Delta bought Northeast Airlines and then Western Airlines of Los Angeles in 1987. This latter move encapsulated the massive hub cities of Los Angeles and Slat Lake City, making Delta the fourth largest American air carrier and the world’s fifth largest carrier.

Delta was a partner in the formation of Orbitz, the online travel website and even carried the Olympic Torch to Los Angeles for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and remained lit from Athens, Greece to Los Angeles.

Though Delta Air Lines continued to grow and expand through codesharing plans with other major airlines, thus increasing their destination points, the juggernaut finally declared it would seek bankruptcy permission from the courts to terminate the pilot pension plan in an attempt to successfully restructure the company. According to projected profitability, Delta Airlines show a returning profitability by the end of 2007.

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