Delta Air Lines, Inc., typically referred to as Delta, is one of the major airlines of the United States and a legacy carrier. It is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline, along with its subsidiaries and regional affiliates, including Delta Connection, operates over 5,400 flights daily and serves 325 destinations in 52 countries on six continents. Delta is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance.
Delta has nine hubs, with Atlanta being its largest in terms of total passengers and number of departures. It is ranked second among the world's largest airlines by number of scheduled passengers carried, revenue passenger-kilometers flown, and fleet size. It is ranked 69th on the Fortune 500. The company slogan is "Keep Climbing".
Growth and acquisitions
By 1970, Delta had an all-jet fleet, and in 1972 it acquired Northeast Airlines. Trans-Atlantic service began in 1978 with the first nonstop flights from Atlanta to London. In 1981, Delta launched a frequent-flyer program. In 1987, it acquired Western Airlines, and that same year Delta began trans-Pacific service (Atlanta-Portland, Oregon-Tokyo). In 1990, Delta was the first airline in the United States to fly McDonnell Douglas MD-11 jets. In 1991, it acquired substantially all of Pan Am's trans-Atlantic routes and the Pan Am Shuttle, rebranded as the Delta Shuttle. Delta was now the leading airline across the Atlantic.
In 1997, Delta was the first airline to board more than 100 million passengers in a calendar year. Also that year, Delta began an expansion of their international routes into Latin America. In 2003, the company launched Song, a low-cost carrier.
Bankruptcy and restructuring (2005–2007)
On September 14, 2005, the company filed for bankruptcy, citing rising fuel costs. It emerged from bankruptcy in April 2007 after fending off a hostile takeover from US Airways and its shares were re-listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Acquisition of Northwest Airlines (2008–2010)
The acquisition of Northwest Airlines was announced April 14, 2008. It was approved and consummated on October 29, 2008. Northwest continued to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta until December 31, 2009, when the Northwest Airlines operating certificate was merged into that of Delta. Delta completed integration with Northwest on January 31, 2010, when their computer reservations system and websites were combined, and the Northwest Airlines brand was officially retired.