Random Factoids About Delta Airlines in the 1990s

So for my post today, I thought I’d take a look at some of the things that people may not remember about Delta Airlines from the 1990s. First up is their fleet from 1994.

Couple of things that I find interesting:

1. The Boeing 727; While today’s fliers may not remember these noisy birds, the Boeing 727s were an integral part of US airline fleets; right up until 2000. Delta operated over 100 of them.

 

2. The Lockheed L-1011 Tristar; Delta used these aircraft almost exclusively on domestic flights; a far cry from today’s CRJs!

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Moving on from Delta’s fleet, this is a list of all international long haul flights operated by Delta in the summer of 2000 (source: Airline Route)

Route
Freq (Wk)
& A/C
Remark
Atlanta – Amsterdam 7 M11
Atlanta – Aruba 7 738
Atlanta – Brussels 7 M11
Atlanta – Caracas 7 738
Atlanta – Dublin – Shannon – Atlanta 3 M11
Atlanta – Frankfurt 10 M11
4 763
Atlanta – Guatemala City 7 738
Atlanta – Lima 7 757
Atlanta – London Gatwick 10 777
4 M11
7 763
Atlanta – Panama city 7 738
Atlanta – Paris CDG 7 777
Atlanta – Rome 7 763
Atlanta – San Salvador 7 738
Atlanta – Sao Paulo – Rio de Janeiro 7 M11
Atlanta – Shannon – Dublin – Atlanta 4 M11
Atlanta – Stuttgart 7 763
Atlanta – Tokyo 7 M11
Atlanta – Zurich 7 763
Cincinnati – Frankfurt 14 763
Cincinnari – London Gatwick 7 777
Cincinnati – Paris CDG 7 763
Cincinnati – Zurich 7 763 -04AUG00
New York JFK – Amsterdam 7 763
New York JFK – Athens 7 763
New York JFK – Barcelona 7 763
New York JFK – Brussels 7 763
New York JFK – Dublin – Shannon – New York JFK 4 763
New York JFK – Frankfurt – Bombay 7 763
New York JFK – Lyon 7 763
New York JFK – Madrid 7 763
New York JFK – Manchester 7 763
New York JFK – Milan Malpensa 7 763
New York JFK – Moscow Sheremetyevo 7 763
New York JFK – Munich 7 763
New York JFK – Nice 7 763
New York JFK – Paris CDG 7 777
New York JFK – Rome 7 763
New York JFK – Shannon – Dublin – New York JFK 3 763
New York JFK – Stockholm 7 763
New York JFK – Venice 7 763
New York JFK – Zurich 7 763
Portland – Nagoya 7 M11
Portland – Tokyo 7 M11 

 

Looking at that table, it seems as though Delta was using the 777 fleet more for capacity than for range; it was mostly used on European flights. They also hadn’t begun using in earnest the 757s on flights from New York JFK to Europe. Finally, the last vestiges of the Portland hub were still hanging on; to Nagoya and Tokyo. Following 9/11 and the retirement of  the MD-11 fleet, those routes were disbanded as well.

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Since I mentioned the Portland hub, I might as well give the dish on it. During the 1990s, Portland served as a mini-hub (Pacific gateway) for Delta Airlines. The carrier operated flights at various times to Taipei, Osaka, Tokyo-Narita, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Bangkok, and Hong Kong. However, the term mini-hub is an apt description, because even at its peak; Delta only ran 25-30 daily flights from Portland (5-6 to Asia). The domestic network was limited to regional points (in Western North America) and Delta hubs. However, the carrier was also fed by the strong Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines operation in Portland (akin to how they feed Delta’s Asian flights in Seattle today). The hub was weakened in the face of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, and completely disbanded in the wake of 9/11.

Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Image Credits: 1, 2

 

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