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In Wednesday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal’s Middle Seat column, airlines and aviation reporter Scott McCartney looks at how Delta is taking action on some silver linings brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and how the airline is taking the opportunity to bring significant long-term benefits to our customers much sooner than anticipated. 

“Can any good come from this? In travel, yes, there actually are some silver linings to the pandemic,” opens McCartney. 

While noting the bevy of changes Delta has made to improve the business throughout the pandemic, such as enhanced cleaning measures, customer flexibility and fleet modernization, McCartney puts his focus on two projects in particular that have advanced far ahead of schedule: the airport revitalization projects at Los Angeles International Airport and LaGuardia International Airport. 

Interviewed in the piece, Mark Pearson, Delta’s V.P. – Corporate Real Estate, explains to McCartney how Delta people seized the opportunity to look past the day-to-day challenges and advance the future for Delta customers much sooner. 

Even as the airline industry came to a near standstill and passenger traffic was reduced to record lows, the work of Delta people led the greatly expedited process in LAX – rebuilding Terminals 2 and 3 approximately 18 months ahead of schedule with an expected completion date in mid-2023. Delta’s LaGuardia project has advanced six months and now has a target completion date in late 2025 – with the potential to complete the project even sooner.  

“No chance we would have been able to do this” without the massive traffic decline, Pearson told McCartney. “You have to find good news wherever you can.” 

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal here: The Silver Linings of Pandemic-Era Air Travel