Delta Air Lines' CEO, Ed Bastian

A Message From Ed Bastian

In 2023, the people of Delta Air Lines led the industry, strengthening our trusted global brand by consistently delivering operational excellence, unmatched financial performance and the welcoming, caring and elevated service our customers deserve. Once again, Delta’s longstanding values of always putting people first set us apart from the competition.

The excellence, dedication and professionalism of our 100,000-strong team was recognized as Delta ranked No. 11 on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies and No. 12 on TIME Magazine’s World’s Best Companies; was selected the world’s best airline by Air Transport World; and was named the No. 1 airline by Business Travel News for the 13th year in a row, among many other awards.

As we continue to transform the travel experience, we will stay true to the people-oriented values that drive everything we do. That includes:


Delta safely transported more than 190 million customers in 2023 – fulfilling our fundamental obligation to our customers, our colleagues and the communities we are privileged to serve. During the year, we introduced The Way We Fly, a refreshed Code of Ethics and Business Conduct that reinforces and updates our safety expectations and standards for our employees and business partners. It includes a strong focus on the importance of safety leadership as well as accountability for every member of the Delta team. Our employees are always empowered to take necessary steps to address a safety issue – something I remind them of regularly.

People and Culture

Our people are core to our success, which is why we’ve strategically invested in attracting, retaining and developing employees who go the extra mile. Our Skills-First approach to talent prioritizes experience and skills over traditional education requirements, giving us more options for recruitment across diverse talent pools. And we continue to focus on creating more equitable outcomes for our workforce by supporting our employees’ financial wellness – including an Emergency Savings Program that provides a contribution up to $1,000 for those who complete a financial education and coaching program – and a leading profit-sharing program that distributed $1.4 billion of Delta’s 2023 profits to our people.

Climate and Environment

We must begin the hard work now to deliver more sustainable travel experiences – it’s imperative for our planet, our communities and our business. Our long-term strategy to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 is focused on transitioning to a more fuel-efficient fleet; increasing the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF); and reducing fuel use and emissions with enhancements and optimization of our operations. We’re also harnessing innovation to power our journey. In 2023, we launched the Delta Sustainable Skies Lab to advance research, design and testing for a more sustainable future of air travel.


Since its inception, Delta has supported the communities where we live, work and serve. In 2023, we provided $60 million in charitable giving, exceeding our commitment to contribute 1% of the company’s net income to communities worldwide. While sharing our profits is important, I’m even more proud of the efforts of Delta employees worldwide who donated their time and expertise on a wide range of worthwhile endeavors, from volunteering with local food banks to planting trees, to building KABOOM! Playgrounds and Habitat for Humanity homes. Day after day, Delta people proudly and passionately show up to support nonprofit causes and community partners.

More details on these and other priorities are available throughout this report.

Next year, Delta will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. Born as a crop-dusting business flying tiny prop planes in Macon, Georgia, the company’s founders would be awestruck to see the global airline Delta is today, whisking millions of travelers around the world in safety and comfort.

But amid all the changes the company has experienced over the decades, our focus on values – always putting people first, no matter what – has never wavered. That’s why I am confident that the next 100 years will be even more exciting for our customers, our employees, our investors and our communities.

I welcome you to join us on our journey into Delta’s next century.

Ed Bastian Chief Executive Officer
Delta Air Lines