Delta Air Lines

Last updated

Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Delta logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
DLDALDELTA
FoundedMarch 2, 1925;97 years ago (1925-03-02), as Huff Daland Dusters in Macon, Georgia
Commenced operationsJune 17, 1929 (1929-06-17)
AOC # DALA026A [1]
Hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program SkyMiles
Alliance SkyTeam/SkyTeam Cargo
Subsidiaries
Other subsidiaries
  • Aero Assurance Ltd.
  • Cardinal Insurance Company (Cayman) Ltd.
  • Crown Rooms, Inc.
  • Delta Air Lines, Inc. and Pan American World Airways, Inc.—Unterstutzungskasse GMBH
  • Delta Air Lines Dublin Limited
  • Delta Air Lines Private Limited
  • Delta Benefits Management, Inc.
  • Delta Loyalty Management Services, LLC
  • Epsilon Trading, LLC
  • Kappa Capital Management, LLC
  • Delta Vacations
  • Montana Enterprises, Inc.
  • New Sky, Ltd.
  • Northwest Aerospace Training Corporation
  • Regional Elite Airline Services, LLC
  • Segrave Aviation, Inc.
  • Tomisato Shoji Kabushiki Kaisha
Fleet size 877
Destinations 325 (2019)
Traded as
ISIN US2473617023
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Key people
Founder C.E. Woolman
Revenue Increase2.svg US$29.90 billion (2021) [4]
Operating income Increase2.svgUS$1.89 billion (2021) [4]
Net income Increase2.svgUS$280 million (2021) [4]
Total assets Increase2.svgUS$72.46 billion (2021) [4]
Total equity Increase2.svgUS$3.89 billion (2021) [4]
Employees83,000 (Dec 2021) [4]
Website delta.com

Delta Air Lines is one of the major airlines of the United States and a legacy carrier. One of the world's oldest airlines in operation, Delta is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. [1] 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. [5] [6] Delta is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. [6]

Contents

Delta has nine hubs, with Atlanta being its largest in terms of total passengers and number of departures. [6] It is ranked second among the world's largest airlines by number of passengers carried, passenger-miles flown, and fleet size. It is ranked 69th on the Fortune 500. [7]

History

Early history

The history of Delta Air Lines begins with the world's first aerial crop dusting operation called Huff Daland Dusters, Inc. The company was founded on March 2, 1925, in Macon, Georgia, before moving to Monroe, Louisiana, in summer 1925. [8] It flew a Huff-Daland Duster, the first true crop duster, designed to combat the boll weevil infestation of cotton crops. [9] C.E. Woolman, general manager and later Delta's first CEO, led a group of local investors to acquire the company's assets. Delta Air Service was incorporated on December 3, 1928, and named after the Mississippi Delta region. [10] [11] [12] [13]

Passenger operations began on June 17, 1929, [14] from Dallas, Texas, to Jackson, Mississippi, with stops at Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana. By June 1930, service had extended east to Atlanta and west to Fort Worth, Texas. [15] Passenger service ceased in October 1930 when the airmail contract for the route Delta had pioneered was awarded to another airline, which purchased the assets of Delta Air Service. Local banker Travis Oliver, acting as a trustee, C.E. Woolman, and other local investors purchased back the crop-dusting assets of Delta Air Service and incorporated as Delta Air Corporation on December 31, 1930.

Delta Air Corporation secured an air mail contract in 1934, and began doing business as Delta Air Lines over Mail Route 24, stretching from Fort Worth, Texas, to Charleston, South Carolina. [15] [16] [8] Delta moved its headquarters from Monroe, Louisiana, to its current location in Atlanta in 1941. [17] The company name officially became Delta Air Lines in 1945. [18] In 1946, the company commenced regularly scheduled freight transport. In 1949, the company launched the first discounted fares between Chicago and Miami. In 1953, the company launched its first international routes after the acquisition of Chicago and Southern Air Lines. [19] In 1959, it was the first airline to fly the Douglas DC-8. In 1960, it was the first airline to fly Convair 880 jets. In 1964, it launched the Deltamatic reservation systems using computers in the IBM 7070 series. In 1965, Delta was the first airline to fly the McDonnell Douglas DC-9.

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. [13] [20]

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 its international routes into Latin America. [21] In 2003, the company launched Song, a low-cost carrier. [13]

Bankruptcy and restructuring (2005–2007)

On September 14, 2005, the company filed for bankruptcy, citing rising fuel costs. [22] [23] [24] 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. [25] [26] [27]

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. [28] 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. [29]

Destinations and hubs

Destinations

Delta and its worldwide alliance partners operate more than 15,000 flights per day. [6] Delta is the only U.S. carrier that flies to Dakar and Copenhagen, and along with competitor United Airlines, are the only two U.S. carriers that fly to Stockholm. [30] [31]

In March 2020, Delta suspended all flights to continental Europe for 30 days, and cutting 40% of its capacity. [32]

Hubs

Delta currently has nine hubs: [6] [33]

Alliance and codeshare agreements

Delta is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and has codeshare agreements with the following airlines: [37] [38]

Fleet

Delta Air Lines has the largest Boeing 757 fleet of any airline. N647DL-2008-08-15-YVR.jpg
Delta Air Lines has the largest Boeing 757 fleet of any airline.

As of December 2020, Delta operated a fleet of 750 aircraft [52] manufactured by Airbus and Boeing. [6] Delta operates the largest Boeing 717, Boeing 757, and Boeing 767 fleets in the world, and the largest Airbus A330 fleet of any US airline. Prior to its 2008 merger with Northwest Airlines, Delta's fleet was made up of solely Boeing and McDonnell Douglas aircraft. Airbus aircraft from Northwest joined the fleet after the merger, and more have since been added.

Delta often seeks to acquire and utilize older aircraft, especially narrow-bodies, and it has created an extensive MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) organization, called TechOps, to support them. However, in early 2011, Delta began talks with Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier Aerospace to discuss replacing the McDonnell Douglas DC-9s, McDonnell Douglas MD-88s, and older A320 and 757-200 aircraft. [53] On August 22, 2011, Delta placed an order for 100 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft [54] and deferred an order of 100 small narrow-body jets until 2012. [55]

In July 2021, Delta Air Lines agreed to purchase 29 used 737-900ERs and lease seven used A350-900s as it aims to modernize its fleet and reduce its complexity. [56]

Cabin

Delta One Suite on a now-retired Boeing 777 Delta One Suites (41341308490).jpg
Delta One Suite on a now-retired Boeing 777
Delta Premium Select on an Airbus A350-900 A350- Interior - Premium Select (37095459120).jpg
Delta Premium Select on an Airbus A350-900
First class on a Delta A220-100 A220 First Class (44703804685).jpg
First class on a Delta A220-100
Delta Comfort+ on an Airbus A321 Interior of Delta Air Lines Airbus A321.jpg
Delta Comfort+ on an Airbus A321
Main Cabin on an Airbus A350-900 A350- Interior - Main Cabin (23645006548).jpg
Main Cabin on an Airbus A350-900

Delta underwent a cabin branding upgrade in 2015. [57] Availability and exact details vary by route and aircraft type.

Delta One

Delta One is the airline's premier business class product, available on long-haul international flights, as well as transcontinental service from New York–Kennedy to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle/Tacoma. [57]

Delta One features lie-flat seating on all aircraft types, and direct aisle access from every seat on all types except the Boeing 757-200 (in which only a special sub-fleet of approximately 20 aircraft feature lie-flats). [58] The Boeing 767-300ER seats, designed by James Thompson, feature a space-saving design whereby the seats are staggered such that when in the fully flat position, the foot of each bed extends under the armrests of the seat in front of it. On the Airbus A330 cabins, Delta One features the Cirrus flat-bed sleeper suite by Zodiac Seats U.S., configured in a reverse herringbone pattern. [59]

All seats are also equipped with a personal, on demand in-flight-entertainment (IFE) system, universal power-ports, a movable reading light, and a folding work table. Passengers also receive complimentary chef-curated meals, refreshments, alcoholic beverages, an amenity kit, premium bedding, and pre-flight Sky Club access. [60]

In August 2016, Delta announced the introduction of Delta One Suites on select widebody fleets. The suites will feature a door to the aisle for enhanced privacy, as well as improved storage space, a larger IFE screen, and updated design. The suites rolled out on the Airbus A350 fleet, first delivered in July 2017, followed by installation within the Boeing 777 fleet. [61] [62] Delta's Airbus A330-900, which began revenue service for the airline in July 2019, also features Delta One Suites. [63] Also in July 2019, Delta began retrofitting a new seat on the 767-400ER, which featured increased privacy and design similar to Delta One Suites, though without a privacy door. [64] These seats lack a door due to the 767's smaller cabin width.

Premium Select

In April 2016, Delta CEO Ed Bastian announced that a new Premium Economy cabin will be added. Since renamed to Premium Select, this cabin will feature extra legroom; adjustable leg rests; extra seat pitch, width, and recline; and a new premium service. Delta introduced it on its new Airbus A350, first delivered in fall 2017, to be followed by the now-retired Boeing 777. [65] In October 2018, Delta announced that it would be selling first class seats on domestically configured Boeing 757 aircraft flying transatlantic routes as Premium Select. [66] Delta's A330-900, delivered in 2019, also offers Premium Select. [67] In 2021, Delta began retrofitting many of its 767-300ER and older A330 aircraft with Premium Select. [68]

First Class

First Class is offered on mainline domestic flights (except those featuring Delta One service), select short- and medium-haul international flights, and Delta Connection aircraft. Seats range from 18.5 to 20.75 inches (47.0 to 52.7 cm) wide and have between 37 and 40 inches (94 and 102 cm) of pitch. Passengers in this class receive a wider variety of free snacks compared to Main Cabin, as well as free drinks and alcohol, and full meal service on flights 900 miles (1,400 km) and longer. Certain aircraft also feature power ports at each seat and free entertainment products from Delta Studio. First Class passengers are also eligible for priority boarding. [60]

Delta Comfort+

Delta Comfort+ seats are installed on all aircraft and feature 34–36 inches (860–910 mm) of pitch; on all Delta One configured aircraft, 35–36 inches (890–910 mm) of pitch and 50 percent more recline over standard Main Cabin seats. [69] Additional amenities include: priority boarding, dedicated overhead space, complimentary beer, wine, and spirits on flights 250 miles (400 km) or more, and complimentary premium snacks on flights 900 miles (1,400 km) or more. Complimentary premium entertainment is available via Delta Studio, with free headsets available on most flights. [60] On transcontinental flights between JFK-LAX/SFO, Delta Comfort+ passengers also get Luvo snack wraps. Certain Medallion members can upgrade from Main Cabin to Comfort+ for free right after booking, while other customers can upgrade for a fee or with SkyMiles. [70]

Main Cabin

Main Cabin (Economy Class) is available on all aircraft with seats ranging from 17 to 18.6 inches (43 to 47 cm) wide and 30 to 33 inches (76 to 84 cm) of pitch. The main cabin on some aircraft have an articulating seat bottom where the seat bottom moves forward in addition to the seat back tilting backwards when reclining.[ citation needed ] [71]

Main Cabin passengers receive complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic drinks on all flights 250 miles (400 km) or longer. Alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase. Complimentary meals and alcoholic drinks are provided on long-haul international flights as well as selected transcontinental domestic flights, such as between New York–JFK and Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. [72] [73] As part of Delta's Flight Fuel buy on board program, meals are available for purchase on other North American flights 900 miles (1,400 km) or longer. [72]

Delta operated a different buy on board program between 2003 and 2005. [74] [75] The previous program had items from differing providers, depending on the origin and destination of the flight. [76] [77] Prices ranged up to $10 ($14.35 when adjusted for inflation). The airline started the service on a few selected flights in July 2003, and the meal service was initially offered on 400 flights. [78] Delta ended this buy on board program in 2005; instead, Delta began offering snacks at no extra charge on flights over 90 minutes to most U.S. domestic flights and some flights to the Caribbean and Latin America. Beginning in mid-March 2005 the airline planned to stop providing pillows on flights within the 48 contiguous U.S. states, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, and Central America. In addition, the airline increased the price of alcoholic beverages on Delta mainline flights from $4 ($5.55 when adjusted for inflation) to $5 ($6.94 when adjusted for inflation); the increase in alcohol prices did not occur on Song flights. [78]

Basic Economy

Basic Economy is a basic version of Main Cabin, offering the same services with fewer flexibility options for a lower price. [57] Examples of fewer flexibility options include no ticket changes, no paid or complimentary upgrades regardless of frequent-flier status, and only having a seat assigned at check-in. [79] As of December 2021, Basic Economy travelers no longer earn award miles (used for redeeming free travel, for example) or medallion qualifying miles (which count towards elite status). [80]

Reward programs

SkyMiles

SkyMiles is the frequent flyer program for Delta Air Lines. Miles do not expire but accounts may be deactivated by Delta in certain cases, such as the death of a program member or fraudulent activity. [81]

Delta Sky Club

A Sky Club in Concourse B at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport New Delta Sky Club (29840678206).jpg
A Sky Club in Concourse B at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Delta Sky Club is the branding name of Delta's airport lounges. Membership is available through an annual membership that can be purchased with either money or miles. International passengers traveling in Delta One class get free access. Membership can also be granted through top-level Delta status or by being an American Express cardholder with certain exceptions. As of January 2019, Delta no longer offered single-day passes. [82]

Originally, Delta's membership-based airport clubs were called Crown Room lounges, with Northwest's called WorldClubs.

Exclusive Delta One Clubs for customers traveling in business class are slated to open at New York–Kennedy and Los Angeles in 2024. [83] [84]

Legend for lounges table
Dagger-14-plain.pngDelta hub
Double-dagger-14-plain.pngDelta focus city
Sky Club lounges by city
CityNotesRefs
Anchorage 1 location [85]
Atlanta 9 locationsDagger-14-plain.png [85]
Austin 1 location [85]
Boston 3 locationsDagger-14-plain.png [85]
Chicago 1 location [85]
Cincinnati 1 location [85]
Dallas/Fort Worth 1 location [85]
Denver 1 location [85]
Detroit 5 locationsDagger-14-plain.png [85]
Fort Lauderdale 1 location [85]
Honolulu 1 location [85]
Indianapolis 1 location [85]
Jacksonville, Florida 1 location [85]
Los Angeles 2 locationsDagger-14-plain.png [85]
Memphis 1 location [85]
Miami 1 location [85]
Milwaukee 1 location [85]
Minneapolis/St. Paul 2 locationsDagger-14-plain.png [85]
Nashville 1 location [85]
New Orleans 1 location [85]
New York–JFK 2 locationsDagger-14-plain.png [85]
New York–LaGuardia 2 locationsDagger-14-plain.png [85]
Newark 1 location [85]
Orlando 1 location [85]
Philadelphia 1 location [85]
Phoenix–Sky Harbor 1 location [85]
Portland, Oregon 1 location [85]
Raleigh/Durham 1 locationDouble-dagger-14-plain.png [85]
Salt Lake City 1 locationDagger-14-plain.png [86]
San Diego 1 location [85]
San Francisco 1 location [85]
Seattle/Tacoma 2 locationsDagger-14-plain.png [85]
Tampa 1 location [85]
Tokyo-Haneda 1 location [87]
Washington–National 1 location [85]
West Palm Beach 1 location [85]

SkyBonus

On November 27, 2001, Delta Air Lines launched SkyBonus, [88] a program aimed toward small-to-medium businesses spending between $5,000 and $500,000 annually on air travel. [89] Businesses can earn points toward free travel and upgrades, as well as Sky Club memberships and SkyMiles Silver Medallion status. Points are earned on paid travel based on a variety of fare amount paid, booking code, and place origin or destination. [90] While enrolled businesses are able to earn points toward free travel, the travelling passenger is still eligible to earn SkyMiles during his or her travel. [90]

In early 2010, Delta Air Lines merged its SkyBonus program with Northwest's similar Biz Perks program. [90]

Corporate affairs

Finances

For the fiscal year 2018, Delta Air Lines reported earnings of US$5.1 billion, with an annual revenue of US$44.438 billion, an increase of 8.02% over the previous fiscal cycle. Its shares traded at over $48 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$39.182 billion in April 2019. [91]

Financial information for Delta, by year
YearRevenue
in million US$
Net income
in million US$
Total assets
in million US$
Price per share
in US$
EmployeesRefs.
200516,480−3,83620,039 [92]
200617,532−6,20519,622 [93]
200719,1541,61232,42318.56 [94]
200822,697−8,92245,0849.47 [95]
200928,063−1,23743,7897.5381,106 [96]
201031,75559343,18812.6079,684 [97]
201135,11585443,4999.2978,400 [98]
201236,6701,00944,55010.0774,000 [99]
201337,77310,54052,25220.0078,000 [100]
201440,36265954,00537.6180,000 [101]
201540,7044,52653,13446.1183,000 [102]
201639,6394,37351,26143.1184,000 [103]
201741,2443,57753,29249.9887,000 [104]
201844,4383,93560,27054.5089,000 [105] [106]
201944,0074,76764,53255.3091,000 [107]
202017,095−12,38571,99634.9774,000 [91]
202129,89928072,45942.8283,000 [91]

Personnel

Between its mainline operation and subsidiaries, and as of March 2015, Delta employs nearly 80,000 people. [6] Ed Bastian is the current Chief Executive Officer and has served in this position since May 2, 2016. [108] Joanne Smith is Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer responsible for the oversight and support of personnel needs at Delta. She was appointed on October 1, 2014, replacing Mike Campbell. [109]

Delta's 14,500 mainline pilots are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International and are the union's largest pilot group. [110] [111] The company's approximately 180 flight dispatchers are represented by the Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA). [112] Not counting the pilots and flight dispatchers, Delta is the only one of the five largest airlines in the United States, and one of only two in the top 9 (the other being JetBlue), whose non-pilot USA domestic staff is entirely non-union. [110] In August 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Air Lines announced that it would be cutting 1,941 pilot job positions if it could not conclude a cost reduction deal with its union. [113] In January 2021, Delta said that, thanks to the federal support, it will be able to bring back 400 pilots in full time. [114]

Delta Global Staffing

Delta Global Staffing (DGS) was a temporary employment firm located in Atlanta, Georgia. Delta Global Staffing was a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, Inc., and a division of the internal company DAL Global Services.

Delta Air Lines sold majority ownership of DAL Global Services to Argenbright Holdings on December 21, 2018. As part of the sale, Delta dissolved the staffing division of DGS. [115]

It was founded in 1995 as a provider of temporary staffing for Delta primarily in Atlanta. DGS has since expanded to include customers and businesses outside the airline and aviation industries. DGS now supports customers in major US metropolitan areas.

Delta Global Staffing provided contract workers for short and long term assignments, VMS partnering, VOP on-site management, temp-to-hire, direct placements, and payroll services. DGS services markets such as call centers, customer services and administrative placements, IT & professional recruiting, logistics, finance & accounting, hospitality, and aviation/airline industry. [116]

Delta Air Lines headquarters in Atlanta DeltaAirLinesHQAtlantaGA.jpg
Delta Air Lines headquarters in Atlanta

Headquarters and offices

Delta's corporate headquarters is located on a corporate campus on the northern boundary of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, within the city limits of Atlanta. [117] [118] [119] This location has served as Delta's headquarters since 1941, when the company relocated its corporate offices from Monroe, Louisiana, to Greater Atlanta. [120] [121] The crop dusting division of Delta remained headquartered in Monroe until Delta ceased crop dusting in 1966. [13] Before 1981, the Delta corporate campus, an 80-acre (32 ha) plot of land in proximity to the old Hartsfield Airport terminal, was outside the City of Atlanta limits in unincorporated Fulton County. On August 3, 1981, the Atlanta City Council approved the annexation of 141 acres (57 ha) of land, an area containing the Delta headquarters. As of 1981 Delta would have had to begin paying $200,000 annually to the City of Atlanta in taxes. In September 1981, the airline sued the city, challenging the annexation on the basis of the constitutionality of the 1960 City of Atlanta annexation of the Hartsfield old terminal. [122] The City of Atlanta was only permitted to annex areas that are adjacent to areas already in the Atlanta city limits. [122]

In addition to hosting Delta's corporate headquarters, Hartsfield–Jackson is also the home of Delta TechOps, the airline's primary maintenance, repair, and overhaul arm and the largest full-service airline MRO in North America, specializing in engines, components, airframe, and line maintenance. [123]

Delta maintains a large presence in the Twin Cities, with over 12,000 employees [124] in the region as well as significant corporate support functions housed in the Minneapolis area, including the company's information technology divisional offices. [125]

Corporate identity

An Airbus A330-300 painted in Delta's current livery, "Upward & Onward" Delta Air Lines A330-323 (N809NW) landing at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (1).jpg
An Airbus A330-300 painted in Delta's current livery, "Upward & Onward"

Delta's logo, often called the "widget", was originally unveiled in 1959. Its triangle shape is taken from the Greek letter delta, and recalls the airline's origins in the Mississippi Delta. [126] It is also said to be reminiscent of the swept-wing design of the DC-8, Delta's first jet aircraft. [127]

Delta's current livery is called "Upward & Onward". It features a white fuselage with the company's name in blue lettering and a widget on the vertical stabilizer. Delta introduced its current livery in 2007 as part of a re-branding after it emerged from bankruptcy. The new livery consists of four colors, while the old one (called "colors in motion") used eight. This meant the switch saved the airline money by removing one day from each aircraft's painting cycle. The airline took four years to repaint all of its aircraft into the current scheme, including aircraft inherited from Northwest Airlines. [126]

Environmental initiatives

In 2008, Delta Air Lines was given an award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment (DfE) program for its use of PreKote, a more environmentally friendly, non-hexavalent chromium surface pretreatment on its aircraft, replacing hazardous chemicals formerly used to improve paint adhesion and prevent corrosion. In addition, PreKote reduces water usage by two-thirds and reduces wastewater treatment.

PreKote is also saving money by reducing the time needed to paint each airplane. With time savings of eight to ten percent, it will save an estimated more than $1 million annually. [128]

Deltalina

As part of the re-branding project, a safety video featuring a flight attendant showed up on YouTube in early 2008, getting over 1 million views and the attention of news outlets, specifically for the video's tone mixed with the serious safety message. The flight attendant, Katherine Lee, was dubbed "Deltalina" by a member of FlyerTalk for her resemblance to Angelina Jolie. [129] [130] Delta had considered several styles for its current safety video, including animation, before opting for a video presenting a flight attendant speaking to the audience. The video was filmed on a former Song Airlines Boeing 757-200. [131]

Accidents and incidents

The following are major accidents and incidents that occurred on Delta mainline aircraft. For Northwest Airlines incidents, see Northwest Airlines accidents and incidents. For Delta Connection incidents, see Delta Connection incidents and accidents.

All told, in 13 fatal accidents involving at least one death, 299 passengers and crew died, 11 on two other aircraft died (in two collision accidents), and 14 persons on the ground died (in two accidents). [132]

Delta Air Lines reported incidents
FlightDateAircraftLocationDescriptionInjuries
FatalSeriousMinorUninjuredGround
4 [133] August 14, 1935 Stinson Model A Gilmer, Texas En route to Shreveport, Louisiana, the left engine separated from the aircraft after a propeller blade failure. The pilot attempted to make an emergency landing in a cotton field, but lost control and crashed.40000
10 [134] November 10, 1946 Douglas DC-3 Meridian Regional Airport Flight 10, a Douglas DC-3 which departed Jackson, Mississippi attempting to land at then Meridian Key Field (MEI) in a thunderstorm and winds, had a runway excursion after landing, going beyond the end of the runway and up the western slope of a ditch adjoining the highway adjacent to the airport, bouncing over a highway, and coming to rest with the nose extended partially over a railroad right-of-way. All three crew and 19 passengers survived, but the aircraft was written off.000All0
N/A [135] April 22, 1947 Douglas DC-3 Columbus, Georgia A Vultee BT-13, owned by the Tuskegee Aviation Institute, landed on top of a Delta DC-3, which was flying from Macon to Columbus.9 (8 on DC-3)0000
705 [136] March 10, 1948 Douglas DC-4 Chicago Crashed near Chicago Municipal (Midway) Airport shortly after takeoff while en route to Miami. Officials determined that longitudinal control of the airplane was lost resulting in the crash. The cause for the loss of control remains undetermined.121000
318 [137] May 17, 1953 Douglas DC-3 Marshall, Texas Crashed 13 miles (21 km) east of Marshall, Texas. The flight, which originated from Dallas Love Field, was on approach to Shreveport, Louisiana. The crash was attributed to adverse weather conditions with a thunderstorm in the area.191000
1903May 23, 1960 Convair 880 Atlanta Crashed during a training exercise in Atlanta. The aircraft stalled and crashed killing all four crew members.40000
N/A [138] January 13, 1963 Douglas DC-7 Memphis A Delta Douglas DC-7 with 5 occupants on board on a ferrying/positioning flight was taxiing for takeoff at then Memphis Municipal Airport when it struck a parked USAF Fairchild C-123 Provider on an unfamiliar taxiway at night. The pilot of the DC-7 was killed and the Provider was damaged by fire. The DC-7 was repaired and placed back into service.10040
9877 [139] March 30, 1967 Douglas DC-8 New Orleans Crashed during a training exercise near New Orleans. The improper use of flight and power controls by both instructor and the Captain-trainee during a simulated two-engine out landing approach resulted in the loss of control. The aircraft crashed into a residential area, destroying several homes and a motel complex and killing 13 people on the ground. [140] 600013
N/A [141] March 20, 1968 Convair CV-340 Evansville Regional Airport A Delta Convair CV-340 attempted to make a single engine landing in rain and low ceiling conditions. The pilot aborted the go-around and crash-landed. An exhaust valve failure in the #15 cylinder caused the engine failure. Another factor in the crash was the pilot misjudged speed and distance while landing. All three crew and 39 passengers survived, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and written off.000All0
439 [142] September 8, 1970 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Louisville-Standiford Field Delta Flight DL439, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 attempting a night landing visual approach touched down 156 feet short of runway 29 at SDF, did not flare properly, bounced and skidded nearly 4,500 feet down the runway due to the absence of sufficient lights in the approach area and sloping terrain, and the pilot did not position the aircraft on the Instrument Landing System glideslope during final approach properly. There were 15 minor injuries among the 89 passengers and five crew. The DC-9 was substantially damaged but repaired and returned to service.0015790
9570 [143] May 30, 1972 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Fort Worth, Texas Crashed during a landing procedure part of a training exercise in Fort Worth, Texas. The probable cause of the accident was wake turbulence resulting from a preceding American Airlines DC-10 which performed touch-and-go landing. The right wing hit the ground causing a fire resulting in the aircraft being written off.40000
954 [144] December 20, 1972 Convair 880 Chicago The Delta CV-880 taxied across runway 27L in heavy fog. At the same time, North Central Airlines Flight 575, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31, took off from the same runway. The aircraft collided.10 (all on DC-9-31)017 (severity unknown)1010
723 July 31, 1973 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Boston Crashed into a seawall. Contributing to the accident was a defective flight deck instrument giving the crew misleading guidance during the instrument approach in visibility less than a half mile with 500-foot (150 m) cloud ceilings. 89 occupants died including Leopold Chouinard, who died from burns months after the accident, leaving no survivors. [145] [146] 890000
516 [147] November 27, 1973 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Chattanooga Crashed into approach lights during a thunderstorm. [148] 047500
1080 April 12, 1977 Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Los Angeles Emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport due to a jammed stabilizer during a flight from San Diego International Airport. The cause of the incident was a lack of greasing, caused when a large amount of water, from precipitation, entered the metal bearings. All 52 passengers and crew on board survived. [149] 000All0
191 August 2, 1985 Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Dallas–Fort Worth On a Fort LauderdaleDallas/Fort Worth- Los Angeles route, severe microburst-induced wind shear caused the plane to crash. One person on the ground was killed as the plane crossed a highway. The crash would later become the subject of a television movie. Numerous changes to pilot wind shear training, weather forecasting, and wind shear detection were made as a result of this crash. [150] 136131321
37 [151] July 8, 1987 Lockheed L-1011 TriStar North Atlantic OceanNear collision with a Continental Airlines 747 carrying 418 passengers and crew. Both the Delta (London-Cincinnati) and Continental (London-Newark) were heading to the U.S. with nearly 600 people total on both aircraft. The Delta flight strayed 60 miles (97 km) off course to the south from its assigned North Atlantic Track "C" during its flight and came within 30 feet (9.1 m) of colliding with the 747 as the L-1011 flew under it in Canadian airspace, flying on the North Atlantic Track "D" (there are five westbound and five eastbound tracks from the United States to the United Kingdom).000All0
1141 August 31, 1988 Boeing 727 Dallas–Fort Worth Crashed after takeoff bound for Salt Lake City, Utah. The investigation stated the probable cause of this accident to be improper configuration of the flaps and leading-edge slats.142650180
1554 [152] October 14, 1989 Boeing 727 Salt Lake City International Airport A parked Boeing 727-232 at Salt Lake City International Airport preparing for a flight to Edmonton International Airport caught fire due to a faulty oxygen system which was never repaired correctly. Smoke filled the cabin and all 19 passengers and crew were evacuated. There were three minor ground injuries. The aircraft was destroyed by the impending fire.002173
157 [153] August 23, 1995 Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Mid Pacific en route LAX-HNLRear bulkhead separation at 33,000 feet resulting from inadequate airframe certification and approval. Pilot descended to 14,000 feet and returned safely to LAX. Damaged beyond repair. Sold to Lockheed for aging airframe research. [154] 000All0
1288 [155] July 6, 1996 McDonnell Douglas MD-88 Pensacola An uncontained engine failure of the port (left) engine on the aircraft resulted in a fan hub piercing the cabin. The flight was scheduled to fly to Atlanta. The aircraft involved in this accident, N927DA, was repaired and returned to service. The aircraft was retired on August 10, 2018. [156] [ better source needed ]2231350
554 [157] October 19, 1996 McDonnell Douglas MD-88 LaGuardia Airport Just before touchdown, after an Instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 13, the right wing struck approach lights. The main landing gear then struck the runway end and broke off, causing the aircraft to skid down the runway for 2,700 feet. The plane was substantially damaged, but later repaired and placed back into service. The MD-88 remained in service until it was retired on August 25, 2018. [158] [ better source needed ]003600
1989 [159] [160] September 11, 2001 Boeing 767-300En route from Boston Flight 1989, bound for Los Angeles International Airport was caught in the path of United Airlines Flight 93. The two aircraft were so close that ATC were initially confused as to which plane had been hijacked. The Delta pilot managed to avoid United 93 and the flight was later diverted to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. [160] 000All0
129 [161] February 3, 2002 McDonnell Douglas MD-11 Dublin Flight 129 from Atlanta skidded off the runway at Dublin Airport in high winds. The port engine of MD-11 N803DE had severe damage. [162] 000All0
1086 March 5, 2015 McDonnell Douglas MD-88 LaGuardia AirportWhile landing in heavy snowfall, Flight 1086 from Atlanta departed the left side of runway while traveling approximately 100 mph (87 kn; 160 km/h), coming to rest nearly perpendicular to the runway with its nose on an embankment beside the waters of Flushing Bay. The accident resulted in damage to the aircraft's left wing (including a fuel leak), nose landing gear well, main electronics bay, nose radome/weather radar, and undercarriage damage forward of the front doors. The aircraft's braking system and condition of the runway surface are being considered as possible causes of the incident. [163] [164] 00231090
159June 16, 2015 Boeing 747-400 Over Chinese airspace Flight 159 from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Incheon International Airport was over Chinese airspace when the aircraft flew through a severe hailstorm. This resulted in substantial damage to the aircraft's radome, wing, and tail plane. [165] [166] The aircraft was written off for its age and because Delta had already begun retiring its Boeing 747-400 fleet. [167] Temporary repairs were made and the aircraft was ferried from Seoul to Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona.000All0
30 April 18, 2018 Airbus A330-300 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Delta Flight 30 was a scheduled passenger flight from Atlanta, Georgia to London, England. The aircraft experienced an engine fire in the #2 engine in the initial climbout. After 25 minutes, the Airbus A330 made a safe landing back at ATL on runway 27L with no injuries. The plane was substantially damaged, but repaired and placed back into service.000All0
89 January 14, 2020 Boeing 777-200 South Los Angeles Flight 89 from Los Angeles International Airport to Shanghai Pudong International Airport reported a problem when one of its engines experienced a compressor stall shortly after takeoff. The plane turned back and dumped fuel over a five-mile portion of the Los Angeles county area, causing 56 injuries on the ground. [168] The plane made a safe emergency landing at LAX with no injuries.000All56
2231February 10, 2021 Boeing 717 Pittsburgh Flight 2231 slid off the taxiway during snowy weather. All 77 passengers deplaned the aircraft safely with no injuries reported. [169] 000All0
134January 12, 2023 Airbus A330-300 Amsterdam-Schiphol Flight 134 was on final approach into Amsterdam-Schiphol's shortest runway, the Oostbaan from Detroit-Metropolitan International Airport. Due to a wind advisory, air traffic controllers redirected the flight to Oostbaan. The aircraft's rear wheels were stuck in the grass before the runway, which damaged it and rendered it inoperable for an hour. There were no reported injuries. [170] 000All0

Hijackings

There have been over a dozen attempted hijackings that resulted in no injuries and the surrender of the often lone hijacker. These incidents are not included. The following are notable hijackings because of fatalities or success in forcing the aircraft to fly to another country:

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Delta Air Lines Flight 1288</span> 1996 aviation accident

Delta Air Lines Flight 1288 was a regularly scheduled flight from Pensacola, Florida, to Atlanta, Georgia. On July 6, 1996, the aircraft serving the flight, a McDonnell Douglas MD-88, was on takeoff roll from Runway 17 at Pensacola when it experienced an uncontained, catastrophic turbine engine failure that caused debris from the front compressor hub of the left engine to penetrate the left aft fuselage. The cause of the engine failure was judged to have been a fault in the manufacture of the fan, and failure of the airline to spot the resulting crack in the blade.

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