Have you ever flown Delta Airlines? Chances are, you probably have. It’s one of the oldest and most successful airlines in the world! Here are 10 interesting facts about Delta, dating back to its inception in 1925!
Delta Airlines was first an agricultural flying company called the Huff Daland Dusters.
Founded in 1925, Huff Daland Dusters was an aerial crop-dusting company. Crop dusting aircraft dispersed pesticides to keep pests from cotton and other crops. Bought in 1928, by C.E. Woolman, Huff Daland Dusters Inc. would become Delta Air Service, then Delta Air Corporation, which then became the Delta Airlines we know today.
The Huff Daland Dusters operated out of Monroe, Louisiana before being bought in 1928 by C.E. Woolman. Delta started serving passengers in 1929.
Delta Airlines gets its name from the Mississippi Delta region.
The Mississippi Delta region is a northwestern area of Mississippi between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. The first scheduled passenger flight departed Dallas, Texas. The crew stopped in at Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana, then landed in Jackson, Mississippi.
Delta’s biggest plane is the Airbus A380.
The Airbus A380 can hold nearly 900 passengers in a single-class configuration. Single class configuration means there are just one of three main classes offered: First-Class, Business, and Economy. Most planes offer all three classes, a three-class configuration. The A380 seats about 550 passengers in a three-class configuration.
The A 380 is not flown nearly as much as its smaller more fuel-efficient counterpart, the Airbus A350. Now it’s been grounded for the foreseeable future, according to CNN. Airlines could not absorb the operational costs of running and maintaining a jumbo jet like the A380.
Delta flew the second-most passengers of all airlines (2019).
In 2019, Delta flew 209 million passengers, trailing only American Airlines. In 2020 and 2021, airlines took a steep hit due to the pandemic, so the passenger numbers don’t accurately represent the success of the largest airlines.
Delta banned hot meals in 2020 during the COVID pandemic.
In mid-2020, Delta stopped serving hot food on flights due to the pandemic. Delta has now brought back hot food on flights.
Delta is the most valuable airline brand (2020).
Delta ranks #1 in brand value at $9.2 billion, even though they dropped 9% in value the previous year. U.S. airlines lead the top three rankings.
Delta is the top U.S. airline on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list.
Delta is ranked 18th on this list, behind only one airline: Singapore Airlines. Every year, Fortune interviews top employees like executives and directors extensively to determine the most admired companies. There are nine total criteria to make this list, including investment value and the quality of management.
Delta has 91,000 employees as of 2019.
Behind Lufthansa, American, Emirates, China Southern, and United Airlines. In 2020, they dipped down to 74,000 due to the pandemic.
Delta suffered $13 billion in losses, the most of any airline last year through April 2021.
The pandemic took a toll on all major airlines, but none more than Delta. They still stand as the highest-ranked U.S. airline on Forbes’ Global 2000 list of airlines, though. American Airlines lost $8.9 billion in 2021, United $7 billion, and Southwest, $3 billion.
Delta was the first airline to offer free in-flight entertainment.
In 2016, Delta announced that it would offer free in-flight entertainment for passengers on two-class aircraft.
This was an innovative move for Delta. They paved the way for other airlines to offer free in-flight entertainment like Southwest and United. One of the goals of airlines is to make the flight comfortable for passengers and Delta succeeded with this decision. Here’s a news report with their press release from 2016.
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