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Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today issued the following memo from CEO Richard Anderson to its 80,000 employees worldwide.


Delta Colleagues Worldwide


Richard Anderson



Congratulations! For the first time, Delta has been named in the top 50 of FORTUNE magazine's 2014 World's Most Admired Companies list at number 48. This recognition is made even more significant because Delta was also named the most admired airline in FORTUNE's 2014 World's Most Admired Companies airline list for the third time in four years.

This honor recognizes the hard work and great accomplishments of Delta's nearly 80,000 people worldwide who are clearly focused on making Delta a better airline for our customers, a better investment for our shareholders and a better place to work. Thank you for your continued focus on living by our Rules of the Road and executing on our Flight Plan despite the many challenges we have already faced this year. You are truly the most admired employees in the global airline business.

FORTUNE's Top 50 rankings are based on a survey which asks top executives and directors across all industries to identify the 10 companies they most admire, regardless of industry, from a pre-determined list. The annual World's Most Admired Companies airline rankings are based on the results of a global survey of airline executives, boards of directors and industry analysts who are asked to rate companies in their industry on the following criteria: people management, social responsibility to the community and environment, quality of management, innovation, quality of products or services, use of corporate assets, financial soundness, long-term investment value and global competitiveness.

Delta people have worked hard over the last several years to lead the way to a more sustainable future for Delta. We have made strategic investments in facilities in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Atlanta; strengthened partnerships with Virgin Atlantic Airways, Aeromexico and GOL; innovated by purchasing an oil refinery to help reduce our largest expense; transformed our fleet by reducing the number of 50-seat aircraft we fly; and invested in improving our product and the customer experience.

And our investments are paying off. In January, we celebrated a record 2013 profit, resulting in our largest profit sharing payout in history of $506 million earlier. We've reentered the S&P 500 and seen our stock price increase by more than 200 percent since 2011. Our 2013 operational performance is unheard of in our industry.

None of this would be possible without the collaborative efforts of all our people – the best in the business. It is clear that when we work together we can achieve great things. As we keep our backpacks on in 2014, we must continue to set the pace for the industry.

As always, it is an honor to serve and work alongside you. Thank you for all you do to make Delta the world's most admired airline.

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SOURCE Delta Air Lines