This week marks 80 years of Delta service to Atlanta, our corporate home and largest operational hub. It all started with trial service on June 12, 1930. Five-passenger Travel Air planes flew one daily nonstop to and from Birmingham, Alabama. Regular service started June 18th.
If you took the Delta morning flight out of Atlanta in 1930, you could reach Birmingham in an hour and a half, and Ft. Worth, Texas, by mid afternoon. The fare to Birmingham cost $9.80 (half as much as railroad fare at the time). For more, check out this Atlanta Journal article describing the new service.
Delta headquarters moved to Atlanta in 1941, and we are the oldest continuous tenant at the Atlanta airport (since 1934). We’ve grown with this “transportation hub” city, and over the years celebrated many firsts in service here:
- Early pioneer of the hub-and-spoke air traffic system, starting in Atlanta.
- First jet service in Atlanta (to New York on September 18, 1959).
- First service to Europe from Atlanta in 1964, in interchange operations with Pan Am. (Pan Am crews flew the international segments).
- First nonstop service from Atlanta to California (1961).
- First nonstop trans-Atlantic service from Atlanta (to London-Gatwick in April 1978).
- First airline in the world to board one million passengers in one city in one month (in Atlanta in August 1979).
- First airline to board 2 million passengers in one city in one month (in Atlanta in 1997).
- First commercial flight to land on the new fifth runway at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, hailed as “The Most Important Runway in America” when it opened (May 27, 2006).
Congratulations on 80 years of partnership!