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Delta CEO Ed Bastian joined the Atlanta business community Monday, April 1 for a discussion on leadership, culture and how Delta continues to Keep Climbing as the industry leader during the Rotary Club of Atlanta’s weekly meeting.

In a conversation with club President John O’Neill, Managing Principal of Cushman & Wakefield, Bastian affirmed the airline’s unmatched culture as its most strategic asset and reason for Delta’s continued success.

“It’s about what goes on inside the tube that matters; what happens on the phones, in the airports and in the relationships we create,” he said. “For myself, personally, that’s what drew me to Delta 20 years ago — that’s why I’m here.”

When asked about the company’s industry-leading profit sharing, Bastian highlighted the Great Delta Give-Back, showcasing the airline’s commitment to customers and communities where Delta people live, work and serve.

“The money is great, and it’s great to have the returns, but it’s really our customers and communities who stood by us and got us back up again. We didn’t do this by ourselves,” he noted. “All 80,000 Delta people worldwide are being provided a paid day of service and we’ll be doing this every single year.”

Bastian also shared about Delta’s community profit sharing, which resulted in $50 million toward key charitable organizations in 2018.  

“Every year, we give one percent of the profits of the company back to the community,” he said. “Everyone’s been a part of this journey, and we’re trying to deflect the attention off ourselves and put it on the people that we serve.”

The conversation concluded with audience Q&A.

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