E.V.P. and Chief of Operations John Laughter provided congressional testimony Wednesday detailing the measures Delta has taken over the past two years to protect the health of customers and the safety and jobs of Delta people, as well as the airline’s compliance with the federal airline Payroll Support Program.
Laughter testified alongside the CEOs of American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The Committee called a status hearing of the U.S. airline industry since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Delta and all its employees are extremely grateful to the American taxpayer and the U.S. Congress for its support throughout the pandemic,” Laughter told the Senate committee. “The PSP enabled the airline industry to preserve tens of thousands of jobs that would otherwise have been lost. As always, Delta remains focused on protecting the health and safety of our employees and customers, providing the best possible service, and safeguarding Delta jobs.”
Video courtesy U.S. Senate
Early in the pandemic, Delta CEO Ed Bastian announced a goal to avoid involuntary furloughs entirely, a key goal of the PSP program. Despite the unprecedented economic impact of the pandemic, Delta achieved this goal, thanks to the support of the PSP and to the extraordinary efforts of Delta employees.
“While the PSP resulted in a massive reduction in operating expenses, federal aid alone was not sufficient for Delta to maintain the scale, workforce and tempo of its pre-pandemic operations,” said Laughter. “Thanks to our employees’ extraordinary efforts and Delta’s collaborative culture, we were able to make sure not a single Delta employee faced an involuntary furlough.”
Today, Delta is in the process of hiring thousands of new employees into career positions and re-growing the airline’s network in a disciplined way that delivers on Delta’s commitments to its people and customers.
Laughter told senators that Delta’s unmatched level of service culminated in the best customer feedback scores Delta has ever received – earning the airline the No. 1 spot on the 2021 J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study.
“Delta has long delivered the most reliable airline service in the world, and we have maintained that standard in the recovery,” he said. “This year, Delta is exceeding our operational performance in 2019, and we lead our industry peers in on-time performance and completion factor.”