Beginning in the 1920s as a lowly crop-dusting operation in Louisiana, Delta Air Lines had, by its fiftieth anniversary, down to become one of the largest companies in the industry and one of the most consistently profitable. First published in 1979, this is a comprehensive account of the growth and development of Delta's strategy and style, the steady expansion of its routes, its relationship with federal regulatory agencies, and the everchanging composition of its fleet. Because the underlying spirit of the Delta enterprise owed so much to its founder, C.E. Woolman, this is also an engaging portrait of the man who came to be classed alongside Eastern's Eddie Rickenbacker and Pan American's Juan Trippe as a pioneer of commercial aviation.
Excellent insight is gained not only into the history of airlines but also into the difficult role of entrepreneurs in blending finance, human relations, and technology to produce a service-oriented organization. . . . Those interested in either business history of transportation will enjoy the book on this blue chip airline.
A detailed narrative account of the fifty-year history if Delta Air Lines . . . Should appeal to both the general reader and the student of American transportation history.
—American Historical Review
If it is not the perfect business history, it is close enough to be used as a model of what a business history should be. Both Delta Airlines and the authors are to be congratulated.
—Journal of Economic History
is definitive and is among the best business history available.
—Technology and Culture