ATLANTA, Jan. 13, 2009 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today announced that airline industry veteran Edward “Ed” Stewart is joining the company as managing director – External Communications, effective Feb. 2. 

Stewart, 51, brings more than three decades of public relations and broadcasting experience to his new position at Delta.  He currently serves as a senior vice president at the Dallas office of public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard and before that was vice president of corporate communications for Ticketmaster in West Hollywood, Calif. 

Prior to Ticketmaster, Stewart had a 16-year corporate communications career at Southwest Airlines, including the role of senior director of public relations and chief spokesman.  Under Stewart’s leadership, Southwest became known as a leader in airline public relations during a period in which the airline experienced one of the most successful expansions in U.S. aviation history.  Before joining Southwest, Stewart spent two years in corporate communications at American Airlines.

At Delta, Stewart will report to Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Ned Walker.  Stewart will lead an international team of communicators responsible for maintaining relationships with news organizations in nearly 400 cities around the world.

“Ed Stewart is one of the industry’s most respected and established communicators,” Walker said.  “Ed’s track record of strategic innovation, coupled with his leadership skills and enthusiasm, will be critical to Delta as we tell our story to more communities than ever before following our recent merger with Northwest.”

Stewart holds a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and is a former journalist, previously working as a general assignment and political reporter for television stations in Milwaukee and Oklahoma City.  Before joining American and Southwest, Stewart also worked in public relations at SBC Communications (now AT&T) in St. Louis.