Northwest Becomes Delta: Part Two

By Robert Mark on January 21st, 2009

Although the challenge arrived in a private e-mail a few minutes ago, one Jetwhine reader demanded in no uncertain terms that a simple video about the death of an old airline to strengthen another is only part of the tale. What about the companies that came before Northwest I was asked?

OK, here’s the deal. I don’t know all of the companies that eventually evolved into the current Delta. So help me out. Any ideas from readers about some of those old airlines that grew into the Northwest we all knew before it morphed into Delta?

I remember North Central, Southern and Republic. Let me see if I can grab all the logos along the way as well? How far back can we go?

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5 Responses to “Northwest Becomes Delta: Part Two”

  1. Brian Lusk Says:

    Robert,
    Don’t forget Hughes Air West. It was originally just Air West and was an early 70s merger of Bonanza, Pacific, and West Coast Airlines. Pacific began with the name Southwest Airways (no relation to Southwest Airlines.) Howard Hughes bought the airline and painted all the aircraft bright yellow. It merged into Republic before the Northwest merger.

    As to Delta, it consists of Western, Northeast (another Howard Hughes operation), and Chicago and Southern. Western acquired the Alaskan airline, Pacific Northern, in the 1960s, including some Constellations that had originally belonged to Delta. There are also the Pan Am European operations from 1991.

  2. Rob Mark Says:

    Just what we needed … one guy with all the answers.

    Well so much for my clear attempt to build traffic on the site by stirring up a little contest.

    But now for a logo or two.

  3. Bill Says:

    The core of both companies goes back to the 1920’s.
    While Northwest had not been involved in merger before the 1986 merger with Republic. Republic was the product of several combinations over the years.
    Southern and North Central Airlines merged to form Republic Airlines.
    Pacific Airlines, Bonanza Airlines, and West Coast Airlines merged to form Hughes Airwest, which was purchased by Republic.
    Northwest purchased Republic.

    Delta started out as Huff Daland Dusters, acquired Chicago and Southern Air Lines in 1953, then Northeast in ’72, Western in ’87, parts of Pan Am in 91.

    I may have left some parts out, but that’s a good start for a blog comment anyway.

    As far as “grabbing all the logos,” that’s going to be bigger collection. Northwest itself has had at least 10. That’s not counting the other airlines that made it up and all the changes in logos they had over the years. Same for DAL.

  4. Tim Miller Says:

    Do not forget that North Central started out as Wisconsin Central. I was just looking at my R.E.G. Davies Delta history book and I remember seeing in the Western linage section National Parks Airways, one in Alaska and a few in California. Short term memory I forget the names! I think T.A.T. also was a root for Western into Delta. I really hope that Northwest’s history museum will merge into Delta’s. It should. Delta seems to care about its history a lot also.

  5. Eric Says:

    Hey dont forget the Pan Am transatlantic routes Delta got.

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