Today, Delta Air Lines is one of the world's largest airlines, transporting 160 million customers to more than 200 destinations around the world and carrying more than 2.4 billion cargo ton-miles each year. However, when the airline was founded in 1924 in Macon, GA, its fleet of 18 planes was solely a crop-dusting operation. The airline quickly grew.
In 1934, when it received the Air Mail Route 24 from the United States Post Office, Delta Air Lines expanded services to include mail transportation. By 1946, it was a full-service passenger airline and had also started offering regularly scheduled cargo services. Throughout the next two decades, Delta continued to extend its reach by expanding internationally to offer service to the Caribbean and South America. The cargo operation continued to flourish as well. In 1975, Delta became the first airline to offer its own air express service called Delta Air Express, which offered high priority, guaranteed cargo service. Delta continued to grow as a global carrier, beginning service to Europe in 1978 and Asia in 1988. This enabled the company to forge the first international cargo alliance with SwissCargo in 1998, followed by the SkyTeam alliance with partners AeroMexico, Air France and Korean Air two years later.
Delta acquired Northwest Airlines in 2008, creating a global airline with major operations in every region of the world. This global footprint has helped Delta continue its success. In 2011, the company generated more than $35 billion in revenue, with Delta Cargo revenue topping $1 billion.