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A Message From Ed Bastian
In 2022, Delta soared out of the pandemic era and into stabilization and recovery. We returned to the skies and found that, once again, the world is a better place thanks to the miracle of safe, efficient and comfortable air travel that connects people and communities worldwide.
All of this is possible thanks to the dedication, passion and hard work of the 90,000+ people of Delta Air Lines. Because of their efforts, Delta was the most awarded airline in the country in 2022, earning recognition from Fortune as the World’s Most Admired Airline for the 10th year; being honored as the most reliable airline by the Wall Street Journal; and being awarded for outstanding customer service and innovation by The Points Guy, Popular Science, The Beat and more.
As we look ahead, 2023 is a year in which we continue to transform travel with bold new initiatives like free in-flight Wi-Fi and Delta Sync, a platform to further enhance and personalize the travel experience at all points of the journey. Amid our progress, we will always stay true to our people-oriented values that drive everything we do. To that end, we will continue to focus on the following:

Making Safety Our No. 1 Priority, Always

Safety is in our DNA. In 2022, we continued to put our safety culture front and center as we onboarded thousands of new Delta employees. Our long-standing commitment to our “Just Culture” initiative instills in new employees the mindset that every mistake is an opportunity to learn and that transparency without fear or punishment is essential to keeping our people and customers safe. Just Culture uses collaboration, observation and conversations to review and investigate safety issues and prevent them in the future – teaching by showing, not telling.
The program is one of many tools we utilize daily to ensure that safety always comes first.

Powered By People And Culture

Our people have always been at the heart of our success, which is why investing in them was a primary focus of 2022. Despite the lingering financial challenges of the pandemic, we recognized our people’s excellence with a special profit-sharing payment totaling $100 million in February 2022. Three months later, we announced a 4% pay increase for eligible employees worldwide. Finally, in February 2023, we were happy to pay $563 million in 2022 profit-sharing checks to our employees.
Delta’s commitment to our employees’ financial well-being isn’t solely about pay – it’s about the ability to manage personal finances and save for emergencies as well as retirement. Research shows that one-third of U.S. households cannot come up with $400 cash to cover an emergency expense. To address this problem, we developed a program in partnership with Operation HOPE and Fidelity Investments to give every Delta employee access to a $1,000 emergency savings account and an online financial education and coaching program. In addition, we continue to offer our leading 401(k) program in which over 90% of our employees participated in 2022, featuring a 3% automatic contribution with another 6% company match.
Delta was the most awarded airline in the country in 2022, earning recognition from Fortune as the World’s Most Admired Airline for the 10th year; being honored as the most reliable airline by the Wall Street Journal; and being awarded for outstanding customer service and innovation by The Points Guy, Popular Science, The Beat and more.

Building a More Equitable World

Delta is committed to pushing toward a more just and equitable world for all. That includes a commitment to improving the diversity of our people at all levels of the company, with measurable goals and transparency that we outline in our annual “Close the Gap” report. While we still have a long journey ahead, we are heartened to report that Delta increased the representation of women, Black talent and other underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in roles across the company in 2022.
Additionally, Delta accelerated an essential partnership with OneTen, an organization that aims to hire, promote and advance one million Black individuals into family-sustaining careers over ten years. Our intentional Skills-First approach to identifying talent removes unnecessary barriers to higher-earning jobs and careers, such as eliminating four-year college degree requirements for most roles and establishing a Skills-First Apprenticeship Program and occupation-specific academies – like our Propel program for pilot talent.

Flying Toward a Sustainable Future

In 2022, focus on climate and the environment took on a larger role within Delta as we expanded our leadership oversight to cement sustainability as a core business imperative. We promoted Peter Carter to Executive Vice President of External Affairs, expanding his role leading Delta’s legal, regulatory and government affairs functions to also oversee the airline’s international, innovation and sustainability strategy. We also welcomed Chief Sustainability Officer, Pam Fletcher, to lead our journey to net-zero emissions by 2050, focusing on short-, medium- and long-term initiatives. In the short term, the Delta team is having an immediate impact by reducing single-use plastic consumption on board, electrifying our ground operations and integrating a sustainable mindset across our supply chain. We are building partnerships now to help create an economically viable market for sustainable aviation fuel in the years ahead as innovation and technology expand the nascent industry.
Our fleet continues to improve its efficiency, and last year we ordered 100 Boeing 737-10 aircraft that will be 20–30% more fuel efficient than the planes they will replace. Delta’s Carbon Council, which scours our operation for improvements to fuel efficiency, saved over 10 million gallons last year thanks to enhanced winglet installations for drag reduction, weight reduction initiatives and flight routing and speed optimizations.
And we’re investing now in technology that carries the potential to have a significant impact over the long term, such as our partnership with Joby Aviation, which will revolutionize the customer journey by offering sustainable home-to-airport travel utilizing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

Serving our Communities

Delta has long been committed to the communities where we live, work and serve. We focus our giving on the environment, equity, education and wellness while supporting our armed forces and veterans and anti-human trafficking programs, partnering with organizations like American Red Cross, Captain Planet, Junior Achievement and UNCF, among others. As we return to profitability, we continue our commitment to contributing 1% of the company’s profits to communities worldwide.

While funding nonprofit partners is critical, the thousands of Delta people who step up and volunteer every year drive our spirit of service. In 2022, their work included assembling nearly 1,500 bikes for Marine Toys for Tots at Delta TechOps, volunteering to provide meals at Hosea Helps on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to celebrate his life and work and donating 14,743 units of life-saving blood to the American Red Cross, making Delta its No. 1 corporate blood drive sponsor for 2022. That dedication is why Delta was again recognized on the Civic 50 as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the U.S. last year by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.
We are excited about the years ahead and humbled by the experiences of the global pandemic. As we return to the skies, the lessons of recent years will always remain with us – a reminder of the power of human connection and the clarity that helps us embrace what is really important in our lives.
I welcome all our customers, employees, investors and community partners to join us on this ongoing journey.
Ed Bastian
Chief Executive Officer Delta Air Lines, Inc.