Ep. 59: Taking Flight, with Delta’s Ed Bastian

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Ep. 59: Taking Flight, with Delta’s Ed Bastian

Author(s)
Mike Milken
Mike Milken
Chairman, Milken Institute

Episode 59 : Taking Flight, with Delta’s Ed Bastian

Ed Bastian

CEO, Delta Air Lines

“We're working well as an industry, not just within the airline industry, but across the hospitality sector. We want customers to feel confident….People want to move; people want to get out. There's a cabin fever...and we want to make sure we're serving it safely.”

Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, remembers all too well how 9/11 affected his industry and his airline, which had to restructure and make difficult cost-cutting decisions. The coronavirus crisis posed a greater threat, but he’s confident his airline will bounce back and return to flying 200 million passengers a year.

What gives him confidence is work that began well before the coronavirus crisis—work that developed a culture of trust among his workforce. “This past February we paid our 90,000 employees $1.6 billion; it was the equivalent of a 16% bonus," he tells Mike on the podcast. "When times are good, we celebrate; when times are tough, we sacrifice together.”

Published June 4, 2020