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Business Travel News, a leading publication for the corporate travel industry, named Delta CEO Ed Bastian to its 2018 25 Most Influential list for a second consecutive year, the only U.S. airline leader represented.

Styling Bastian as “The Director,” BTN cited his leadership and Delta’s influence within the airline’s global alliance and investment portfolio, specifically its strategic partnerships with Air France-KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Aeromexico, Gol, China Eastern and WestJet.

The article referenced the joint venture expansion between Delta, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic to become the top choice for trans-Atlantic customers by offering the most comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.

Bastian said, “We've decided that for us, we can't effect change on behalf of customers if you're sitting solely in a commercial relationship. You have to have a seat inside the boardroom, have a seat at the table, to make the change happen and hold them accountable.”

BTN also noted Delta’s goal to improve the customer travel experience into a seamless journey at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, the strengthened relationship with China Eastern, and Delta’s investment in Canadian carrier WestJet, helping transform the company into a global partner for customers traveling between the U.S. and Canada.