The longest-running airline carrier, Delta Airlines began in 1924 as a crop-dusting company called Huff Daland Dusters. Since then Delta has become a world leader in providing efficient, on-time air travel. Since 1941, the company has been based in Atlanta, where Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport serves as the largest domestic hub and primary base for flights to over 57 countries. The airline also operates four other hubs in major U.S. cities, Los Angeles of which it has recently reestablished. Depending on which measure is used, Delta is either the second or third largest airline in the world. Even though Delta actively opposed deregulation, it entered deregulation with a number of strengths. By growing, it has elbowed its way into the "big five. " Delta has expanded significantly in the Southeast by acquiring Citizens and Southern Airlines in 1953. It expanded north with its acquisition of Northeast in 1972. And in 1986, Delta joined the stampede to merge by acquiring Western Air Lines, hubbed in Salt Lake City.
Delta paid its workers well and had never laid anyone off, it enjoyed labor relations and had few union contracts. These contracts enabled it to have high productivity, excellent service, and high worker morale. Delta's greatest asset of all was its people. While deregulation has brought the industry tremendous labor difficulties, labor-management relations were good at Delta's Atlanta headquarters. In 1986, Delta's workers dug into their pockets and bought the company a jet. Delta's salary expenditures were high and they were the largest labor expenditures in the industry at that time. Delta's profitability was so strong that in 1983, it profit became a loss. This loss was because of a market survey in 1982 revealed that Delta acquired a reputation for being high priced in the newly regulated environment. During the period 1979 to 1983, the deepest world recession created many problems in the U.