Photo by Heather Middleton
By Maria-Jose Subiria
Terry Robinson, a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines, Inc., was
greeting fellow employees with a bright smile as they entered Delta's
Technical Operations Center, near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
Robinson said he has been with the company for 13 years, and has
enjoyed every minute while employed with the airline.
"Today is a celebration," said Robinson. "It's the beginning of a new
era for us."
More than 300 Delta employees recently filled the airline's Technical
Operations Center, in Atlanta, to celebrate the airline's 70th
anniversary at its Atlanta headquarters.
The festivities were celebrated on Jan. 21, and included the
christening of a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, as the "Spirit of Atlanta."
A video projected onto the side of the aircraft showed Delta through
the years, with a final image of a large Coca-Cola bottle pouring
cola over the Spirit of Atlanta wording.
"The success of Delta and the City of Atlanta have been intertwined
for seven decades, and it's hard to argue with the results," said
Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Air Lines. "Atlanta has grown into a
major international city while Delta built the world's largest hub at
the city's airport [Hartsfield-Jackson]. Central to this success has
been the historic partnership between Delta, the City of Atlanta, the
state of Georgia and our thousands of Atlanta-based employees and
Airline employees and a variety of officials, including Anderson,
Coca-Cola Company Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, Georgia Gov. Nathan
Deal, and U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Johnny Isakson (R-
Ga.) spoke during the 70th anniversary event.
Officials said Delta is among the largest airlines in the world, but
in 1941, during the time it moved its headquarters from Monroe, La.,
to Atlanta, it was a small air carrier with a focus on serving the
Southeast. Throughout the following decades, the airline built the
world's largest connecting hub in Atlanta, and for more than 20 years
it has remained Georgia's largest private employer and a major
economic force in the region, airline officials said.
"Delta is truly an economic force for Georgia," said Deal. "It is our
biggest employer and its presence here plays a key role in helping us
attract new investment and jobs. I look forward to partnering with
Delta as it sets out on the next 70 years."
Airline officials explained that Delta has 25,000 employees based in
Atlanta, and is estimated to pump more than $25 billion into the
local economy. The airline is also a large contributor to various key
community organizations in Atlanta, including the Grady Health
Foundation, the Woodruff Arts Center and AID Atlanta, Inc.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed made an appearance on screen during the
celebration, because of a meeting with President Barack Obama in
"The strong relationships among companies such as Delta, state and
local elected officials and civic organizations are what make Atlanta
not only a global, dynamic city, but a great place to live and do
business," said Reed.
Chambliss said Delta has made tremendous progress since its
beginnings in Monroe. The airline has established itself as an
economic engine for Georgia and the Southeast, he explained.
"For seven decades, Delta has thrived, employing thousands of
Georgians and becoming an integral part of our communities," said
Isakson said since Delta has been in Atlanta, it has brought jobs,
businesses and abundant opportunities to Georgia, by linking it to
cities across the nation and the globe.
The event also honored three individuals, two of which are Delta
Lynda Lloyd, a flight attendant for Delta, was honored for her
longevity with the company.
According to Delta CEO Anderson, she has worked for the airline since
"As a longtime Atlanta resident it's been so exciting to be part of
this airline, which is such a positive force for the community," said
Lloyd. "It was the very best decision of my life, to come to Atlanta,
remain here and be a Delta flight attendant. I am still enjoying the
very best job in the world. It always makes me proud when I tell
people I work for Delta."
Cheryll Davis, who works in global sales and distribution for Delta,
was honored for being the company's most active community volunteer
Davis has dedicated thousands of hours to charities, throughout her
20-year career with the airline, explained officials.
"Delta has always encouraged its employees to become involved in our
communities, and service is a big part of being a member of the Delta
family," said Davis. "As an Atlanta resident, it's great that Delta
is so supportive of our community, and it's one of the benefits of
being Delta's hometown."
Ed Robinette was recognized as the airline's most frequent flier,
having flown nearly 7 million miles, using Delta, over the past 30
years, according to officials. He has been a member of the Delta
SkyMiles frequent flier program since 1981.
"Two years ago, I moved my business to Atlanta because of the great
flights and service offered by Delta, and I'm not the only one. We
have so many businesses based in Atlanta solely because of Delta,"
On the net:
Delta Air Lines: www.delta.com