On Friday, Delta people logged the 90th brand day of the year, matching 2017’s full-year record number of brand day in just nine months – more than a hundred days ahead of last year’s pace. A brand day requires that both sides of Delta’s operation, mainline and Delta Connection, run without a cancellation — no small feat given an average of 5,500 flights depart each day across the system.
Since Friday, Delta employees have notched three additional brand days — bringing the total to 93 — where the airline maintained 100 percent system completion factor, meaning no flights had been canceled, across the mainline and Delta Connection operations. Compared to this time last year, Delta recorded just 51 brand days.1 The record comes on the heels of Delta Connection achieving its own 100 day cancel-free milestone earlier this month as regional partners continue to close the gap and meet operational metrics, bringing consistent reliability to the Delta brand.
“It’s an incredible achievement and nothing short of impressive, especially given the operational challenges we’ve experienced this year, including several nor’easters, hurricanes and typhoons, and countless disruptive thunderstorms in several major hubs this summer,” said Gil West, Delta’s Chief Operating Officer. “Your dedication to perfection is what sets Delta apart as the clear reliability leader.”
This is just one of the many reasons more than 130 million people have chosen to fly Delta so far this year. Even during a busy, record-breaking summer where the airline flew some 60 million customers, including nearly 662,000 on a single day, Delta’s global team still drove 36 brand days and maintained a completion factor of 99.34 percent.
“People choose to fly with us because we never stop improving for our customers,” said Dave Holtz, Senior Vice President – Operations & Customer Center. “Being on-time and not cancelling flights matters and we appreciate that our customers trust us to do that better than anyone else.”
Reaching this completion factor goal in record timing was made possible by every division across the company, notably Delta’s cross-company task force charged with reducing the impact of irregular operations. The team, which was assembled to analyze opportunities for improvement during and after irregular operations, has significantly enhanced how the airline recovers from operational disruptions and reducing cancellations that result from IROPs. From tightening turn times in major hubs by keeping crews with the same airplane to improving technology throughout the operation, contributions from teams across the company have proven fruitful in getting the airline, and its customers, moving as quickly as possible.
Another component to Delta’s brand day success is the airline’s close coordination with ATC Centers, specifically in the Northeast. The OCC team has made strides in working a better flow of arrivals and departures into the crowded New York airspace during convective weather in the summer season. A better balance means fewer constraints in and out of busy airports and major hubs during weather events, reducing delays and the chance that Delta flights, specifically Delta Connection flights, have to cancel as a result.
Delta attributes part of its operational success and reliability to its TechOps team, who keep the airline’s more than 800 mainline aircraft flying safely. Year-to-date the team has logged an impressive 232 days without a single maintenance-related cancellation this year. 2 Delta Connection is following close behind with 220 days without a maintenance-related cancellation this year, an increase of 50 days year over year.
“We’re not just in the business of getting people from one place to another, we’re here to connect people to moments and experiences,” said Charisse Evans, Vice President, Customer Experience Integration. “Without the dedication and hard work of our network of 80,000 professionals in Airport Customer Service and Cargo, Flight-Ops, Reservation Sales, In-Flight, the Operations and Customer Center and TechOps this accomplishment would not be possible.”
 Based on Delta internal operational reporting for all Delta mainline and Delta Connection flights scheduled from Jan. 1, 2018 to Sept. 25, 2018.
 Number represents mainline operations only from Jan. 1 to Sept. 25, 2018.