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A calypso band set the tone on Dec. 1, as Delta commemorated 70 years at Miami International Airport (MIA) with a celebration for passengers and employees in the MIA lobby.

Delta is MIA’s longest-serving airline, beginning service on Dec. 1, 1945 with an inaugural flight from Miami to Chicago. From just 21 passengers on that first flight, Delta has grown to serve nearly 2.5 million passengers annually at MIA.

“We are proud to celebrate the longevity and significant contributions that Delta has made in our community,” Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González said in a release. “As our longest serving airline, we are honored to have so many past and present employees here to celebrate this historic milestone.”

Plane being washed off

To kick off Tuesday’s celebration, an arriving Delta flight was greeted by a water cannon salute (pictured left). Later in the day, the airport presented Delta with a commemorative collage and cake decorated with a photo of Miss Orange Bowl 1946, Libby Walker (pictured below). The photo shows her shattering a bottle of orange juice on the nose of the “City of Miami,” christening the Douglas DC-3 that flew Delta’s inaugural MIA flight.

Cake with planes and logo

“Miami is special all the way around,” said Daryl Lynem, Airport Customer Service Station Manager, MIA. “We have a coalition of employees from all around the world and a robust schedule. Although it’s technically a domestic airport, we have an international flavor, because of all of the connecting passengers flying into Miami.”

 

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