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Ep. 59: Taking Flight, with Delta’s Ed Bastian
Episode 594th June 2020 • Conversations with Mike Milken • Milken Institute
00:00:00 00:25:51

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“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. When times are good, we celebrate; when times are tough, we sacrifice together.”

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