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IAHWorldflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 888
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:22 pm

Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:35 am

With some extra time on my hands, was looking at old airline route maps and schedules. I have noticed that in the 1970-1973 range, DL flew from SJU to both LAX and MSY, but not ATL. By 1975, service to LAX had been dropped, and service to ATL seems to have started.
My question is, at almost 3000 nm, SJU-LAX would have been one of Delta's longest routes at the time. What aircraft did they use? I cannot find this info. I assume it was either a DC-8 or, after their introduction, an L-1011. Any old Delta hands reading this know anything about the route?
 
lx2iah
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Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:25 am

Hello IAH World Flyer,

According to Departed flights and the March 01, 1973 DL System Timetable, DL881 operated Thursday, Friday, Saturday departing SJU at 930p arriving in LAX at 1237am +1. It was operated by a DC-8.
http://www.departedflights.com/DL030173p66.html and http://www.departedflights.com/DL030173p86.html

In their October 27, 1974 System Timetable it shows that they would be adding a nonstop flight (operating except Tuesday & Wednesday) from December 15, 1974 as DL981 SJU 1000p - LAX 140a +1. This flight was also operated by DC-8 equipment.
http://www.departedflights.com/DL102774p71.html and http://www.departedflights.com/DL102774p84.html

You'll note the "through flight" (SJU-MSY-LAX-SFO) DL 981 is showing on the Timetable since the nonstop flight had not started as of the October 27, 1974 Timetable, but you'd presume that the nonstop flight would have been operated by the DC-8.

Delta didn't fly their first L-1011 until Ship 702 flew Delta's first revenue L-1011 flight on December 15, 1973, with 39 passengers from Atlanta to Philadelphia.
http://www.deltamuseum.org/exhibits/del ... eed-L-1011

Regards,
LX2IAH
 
e38
Posts: 772
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:43 am

based on the timetable referenced above by lx2iah, SJU - LAX nonstop service was operated by DC8-61 equipment.

IAHWorldflyer, as you alluded to, San Juan service evolved over time. Based on the references provided by lx2iah, SJU service went from SJU-MSY/LAX with DC-8 equipment; later MSY and LAX were dropped and MIA/ATL nonstops were added operated with L-1011 aircraft. There are even timetables that show a SJU - MCO service operated by L-1011 equipment.

In addition to the references provided above, http://www.departedflights.com, also check out http://www.timetableimages.com (click on List of Complete timetables North America the USA only to reference Delta schedules).

e38
 
mga707
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:52 am

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:29 am

As I noted in another thread, Delta's MSY-SJU route was a legacy of their 1953 acquisition of Chicago and Southern Air Lines, the first of the four airlines to date that Delta has absorbed over the last 70 years. C&S had started the route shortly before the merger as an extension of their existing MSY-HAV service. Havana was dropped after the Castro takeover in Cuba, circa 1960.
 
IAHWorldflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 888
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:22 pm

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:07 pm

Thank you for your answers. I had looked at the Departed Flights schedules, but never realized that Delta had all the equipment operating the flights in a separate section. That's great!
I figured it would have been a DC-8, as this would have probably been their longest range jet before the L-1011's started to come online.
When I was growing up in the late 1970's/early '80's, one of our neighbors was a Delta L-1011 captain. His favorite route to fly was ATL-SJU. Unfortunately, he's no longer around for me to ask these kinds of questions.
 
seat1a
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Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:03 pm

That DL flight SJU-MSY is quite the headscratcher. Slightly off topic, but I recall that TWA flew SJU-LAX, too, at one time with a 757? Are there aircraft today that can do that segment?
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:36 pm

MAX8? I don't see AA firing up an international-config 332 or 788 for that - not when it overflies MIA and DFW hubs. IIRC AA's SJU-DFW non-stop got pulled in the Great Recession but made a comeback.
 
ScottB
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Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:39 am

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
My question is, at almost 3000 nm, SJU-LAX would have been one of Delta's longest routes at the time.


I have to imagine that may have been Delta's longest scheduled non-stop route in the airline's history up until they started ATL-LGW in 1978.
 
FF630
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:57 am

When did Delta start ATL/HNL nonstop ? That route is longer than ATL/LGW.
 
User avatar
WassbiKhalifa
Posts: 44
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Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:06 am

I started on the ramp for DL in 1984. I loaded a bunch of L1011's to SJU and HNL that first summer. I think HNL started in 1984. But I was 18 and just happy to be loading planes. I wasn't sure of much else. But I think HNL non stops started in 84 or maybe 85.
 
mga707
Posts: 320
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Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:52 am

seat1a wrote:
That DL flight SJU-MSY is quite the headscratcher.


See my reply two posts above yours as to it's origin. A C&S 'legacy' route.
 
sspontak
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 2:42 am

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:38 pm

e38 wrote:
based on the timetable referenced above by lx2iah, SJU - LAX nonstop service was operated by DC8-61 equipment.

IAHWorldflyer, as you alluded to, San Juan service evolved over time. Based on the references provided by lx2iah, SJU service went from SJU-MSY/LAX with DC-8 equipment; later MSY and LAX were dropped and MIA/ATL nonstops were added operated with L-1011 aircraft. There are even timetables that show a SJU - MCO service operated by L-1011 equipment.

In addition to the references provided above, http://www.departedflights.com, also check out http://www.timetableimages.com (click on List of Complete timetables North America the USA only to reference Delta schedules).

e38


Did DL ever operate the 747 to SJU?

Nice selections of timetables. It was interesting seeing they operated the 747, DC-10 and L-1011 at the same time in the 1974 schedule. Some of the shorter L-1011 routes are: MCO-FLL; MCO-TPA; BOS-YUL, MEM-ATL; JAX-ATL; EWR-BOS; JFK-BOS. This would not happen today.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 8811
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:04 pm

I remember a mid-90s L-1011 on ATL-MCO. IMHO it was a treat (but the tiny/tall side bins pointed to another era).

Don't forget that DL put the 764s in a domestic F config when they got them nearly 20 years ago.
 
sspontak
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 2:42 am

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:51 pm

[threeid][/threeid]
MIflyer12 wrote:
I remember a mid-90s L-1011 on ATL-MCO. IMHO it was a treat (but the tiny/tall side bins pointed to another era).

Don't forget that DL put the 764s in a domestic F config when they got them nearly 20 years ago.


Yes, I remember flying the 764 between ATL-MCO a few times. I also remember flying the L-1011, MD-11 and 777 between ATL-MCO.
 
WA707atMSP
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:16 pm

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:26 am

mga707 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
That DL flight SJU-MSY is quite the headscratcher.


See my reply two posts above yours as to it's origin. A C&S 'legacy' route.


Also, New Orleans was far more of a business center in the 1950s than it is today. Pan Am flew from MSY to cities in Latin America until the 1970s, and Aviateca, Sahsa, and Taca flew from MSY to cities in Central America in the 1970s, too.
 
xdlx
Posts: 966
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:29 pm

Re: Delta Operations at SJU in the 1970's

Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:13 am

To answer your question correctly, SJU-LAX & MSY-SJU where flown in the DC8-63 during the 70’s. I was hired by DL in SJU in late 70’s and we still flew the then modified DC8-73 on a SAT only frequency. Late 80’s to mid 90’s was all L1011

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