Delta Airlines traces its roots back to 1925, when two businessmen, Joe J. Kennedy Sr. and Gordon B. Kerkorian, started a small air mail service in the Los Angeles area. The airline began operations as a scheduled carrier in 1941 and grew rapidly throughout the 1940s and 1950s due to its low-cost approach to air travel. In 1967, Delta became an official member of the American Airline Association (AAL). The airline's first foray into international service began in 1978 with the launch of flights from Atlanta to Rome and Paris. In 1984, Delta introduced a new livery featuring a blue and silver design. In 1989, Delta became the first U.S. carrier to fly over Soviet airspace without government permission. In 1991, Delta merged with Northwest Airlines, creating the world's largest airline company.