Western Historical Timeline

Though the Decades

Western's history, decade by decade. Select the decade you're interested in.


Western experiences financial difficulties after weakening profits in the late 1970s and deregulation of U.S. airlines in 1978.

Transatlantic service begins: Honolulu—Anchorage—London.


Transatlantic service modified: Honolulu—Anchorage—London service suspended; Denver—London service starts.


Salt Lake City becomes a major Western hub with 59 daily flights

All transatlantic service to London discontinued.


Larry H. Lee is Chief Executive Officer.

Los Angeles becomes a Western hub (rather than terminus) with new services, including more connections to Salt Lake City.


Larry H. Lee is Chairman of the Board and CEO.Western avoids bankruptcy after reworking its flight schedule—the new SLC hub operations were especially successful—and reaching work concessions with its unions.


Jerry Grinstein is CEO, with Larry H. Lee as Chairman of the Board.

In August, Western announces profits estimated to be $45 million for the first 7 months of the year.

Western now has 115 departures a day from Salt Lake City


Jerry Grinstein is Chairman and CEO.

Western enters an operating agreement with regional airline Skywest, to add feeder lines between Salt Lake City and smaller cities, many formerly served by Western. The joint service is named Western Express.

Western and Delta Air Lines announce a merger agreement providing for Delta's acquisition of Western for $860 million on September 9.

Western becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta on December 19.

April 1, 1987: Operations of Western and Delta officially merge.
wa-delta_boeing-737 merger 1987