US airline Delta is celebrating its 40th year of flying to the UK.

The 40th customers to check in for selected flights will be upgraded and given lounge access by the airline, which flew to Gatwick from New Orleans via Atlanta as its first foray into the UK in 1978.

Since that flight, on board a Lockheed L-1011-200 TriStar aircraft, Delta has expanded to offer routes from Heathrow to Atlanta, New York-JFK and Detroit.

It also flies between JFK and both Edinburgh and Glasgow and has a partnership with British transatlantic airline Virgin Atlantic.

“We’ve consistently grown our network and invested heavily in our customer experience in the U.K. over the past 12 months with new menus, movies and messaging,” said Corneel Koster, Delta’s senior vice president Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.

“And in recent years, thanks to our exciting partnership with Virgin Atlantic, our customers have a first-class experience at Heathrow too.”