Delta Airlines: Past Present and Future
Delta Airlines have transformed over the decades. They started out as a crop dusting company, blossomed into an airline company, fought litigations, went bankrupt, then resurrected it and merged with Northwest Airlines to become one of the biggest airline companies in the world. Their aircraft, operations, and cities and countries that they service have transformed and blossomed as well.
In 1924, Huff Daland Dusters, Incorporated as a crop dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. Huff Daland Dusters began due to the enthusiasm about the aerial crop dusting activities in Tallulah, Louisiana that George Post, an airplane manufacturer, witnessed. George Post had a forced landing in Tallulah, Louisiana due to mechanical problems with his aircraft. George Post convinced his job owner to start Huff Daland Dusters. Huff Daland marked history by being the first commercial agricultural aviation company to go into business. Within a year, in 1925, the company and its 18 duster planes moved to Monroe, Louisiana at the advice of Dr. B. R. Coad.
Dr. Coad worked for the Bureau of Entomology in Tallulah, Louisiana. Dr. Coad made the suggestion to Huff to move to Monroe, Louisiana because of the increased profitability in Louisiana, and the advancements in entomology. This move resulted in the transformation of what we now know as Delta Airlines. Huff moved in 1925 to Monroe, Louisiana. C.E. Woolman, colleague of Dr. Coad and district agent and fellow entomologist and aviation enthusiast, left the Agriculture Extension Service to become one of the lead entomologists as Vice President and Field Manager.
Huff extended their operations to Florida, Arkansas, California and Mexico. Two years later, they also opened operations in Peru, becoming the first international mail and passenger carrier in the world. Woolman secured Huff Daland Dusters’ position as the first airline with airmail rights in Peru, after a trip to Peru which sparked Woolman’s interest in Huff Daland Dusters pursuing more than crop dusting. In 1927, services from Peru to Ecuador began. Due to a rough, militant revolution in South America, Wooman sold their South American dusters to a Peruvian Firm, Peruvian Airways Corporation, which is a subsidiary for Pan Am. He eventually sold the South American airmail route to Pan American Grace. In 1928, the Parent Company for Huff Haland Dusters, Keystone Aircraft, was attempting to sell Huff Haland Dusters’ Duster segment of the company. Woolman found out about the plans and gained the interest of Monroe businessmen to invest in the purchase of Huff Haland Dusters. They, in fact, purchased Huff and renamed it as Delta Air Service, then Delta Air Corporation.
In 1930, The Post Office Department awarded the airmail contract to a rival Southern route airline. However, this did not discourage Delta Air Corporation from acquiring the contract at a later date. Since business was growing, Dr. B.R. Coad was...