85 years ago today, June 17th, 1929, a young Delta Air Lines began service in Shreveport.

The city didn't even have an airport at the time -- just an open field near the Red River.  It wasn't until two years later that Shreveport Municipal Airport, now called Shreveport Downtown Airport, officially opened. Shreveport was part of Delta's original route, which also included Dallas, Monroe, and Jackson.  For many years, Delta was based in Monroe and held its yearly shareholders' meeting there before moving its base of operations to Atlanta.

Over the years, Delta has served Shreveport with many different types of aircraft -- from the lowly DC3 to the modern Boeing 737.  Next month, Delta plans to introduce its new Boeing 717 to the Shreveport market as well.

Delta remains Shreveport Regional Airport's largest air carrier.  Last year alone, Delta served more than 200,000 passengers here.

In honor if it's 85th anniversary of service to Shreveport, Shreveport Regional Airport and the City of Shreveport held a big celebration today at the airport, complete with a proclamation from the Mayor. Delta, in turn, decked out its whole concourse in red and blue and ordered in 500 cupcakes for all of its passengers as well as those on hand for this morning's ceremony.

In the accompanying photo, shown left-to-right, are Airports Director Bryant Francis, Bernadine Anderson from the mayor's office reading the proclamation, Shreveport Airport Authority Chairman Margaret Shehee, and State Representative Barbara Norton.  The photo below is self-explanatory!

photo by John Lee, KEEL News