Name: Ed Bastian
Title: Chief executive officer
Company, city: Delta Air Lines; Atlanta, Ga.
Number of employees: 80,000
Recent project: Notable ongoing projects include closing a joint venture with Aeromexico and launching an expanded partnership with Korean Air, launching a major enhancement and expansion of our facilities at LAX, embarking on a major terminal project at New York-LaGuardia, and paying more than $1 billion in profit-sharing to our employees for the third year in a row.
First job: Working on a road crew in upstate New York
Little-known fact about you: I was once the official accountant for the MTV Music Awards and briefly appeared on the show.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? The next few years provide an opportunity to remake the customer experience on the ground. We are making substantial investments in airport facilities across our system, particularly in New York and Los Angeles, allowing us to rethink how to provide world-class service and improve efficiency. Airlines compete on service for the first time in decades, which is only going to increase — a great development for anyone who travels.
Best career advice you’ve received: Follow your heart — which I did when I returned to Delta to lead the company’s restructuring. It involved a 50 percent pay cut, but it was the right thing, going back to the company and people I love.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Don’t be too cautious. Sometimes we need to embrace our instincts; and if that means attempting something ambitious or even audacious, don’t be afraid to try.
Ed Bastian as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: The best thing about my travels today is the opportunity to talk to Delta employees and customers and get their feedback. My first travel memory is my first trip on an airplane when I was 25. I had no idea then that one day I would lead one of the world’s largest airlines.
One travel tip you cannot live without: Bring a charger for your phone and tablet. We have power outlets in our airports and on board, but they can’t help you without a charger.
Best advice for business travelers: It’s worth developing a relationship with your favorite airline. The obvious benefits come from loyalty programs, but you’ll find you’re seeing the same people as you interact with the airline. Delta people love knowing our best customers by name and see them as part of the family.
About Delta Air Lines
What is the design philosophy behind Delta’s new uniforms? The philosophy was to have comfortable and functional uniforms with a contemporary design that makes Delta people look great. Our employees were a big part of the design process.
Delta’s newest widebody flagship aircraft will be the Airbus A350-900; what can our readers look forward to? The A350 is a game changer for Delta’s international service. The aircraft will be loaded with amenities including high-speed WiFi, free in-flight entertainment throughout the plane, the new private Delta One suite and other advances in the customer experience. The range of the aircraft will allow us to serve cities nonstop from the United States, particularly in Asia, that we can’t operate today. It also will fly more efficiently, with a reduced impact on the environment and a lower cost.
What does the future hold for U.S. carriers in terms of flights to the Gulf? We’re optimistic the new administration will take steps to hold the Gulf carriers accountable to the rules of the Open Skies agreement. Open Skies is based on the idea that competition is fair and equal, and unfortunately the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar violated those agreements with $50 billion in direct subsidies to their state-owned airlines. This has already driven U.S. airlines out of Middle Eastern markets and India, and it will only get worse as the Gulf airlines expand.
What can premium travelers expect from the Delta One experience? We were honored when Delta One recently won the coveted Crystal Cabin Award. Delta One is a luxury experience with a sliding door in each suite that provides a level of privacy we’ve never offered before, bringing the business-class cabin to a new level.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE about wellness pursuits and who feel most at peace close to the sea, there’s nothing quite like the synergy offered by a floating spa integrated into the setting of a luxurious cruise ship. I’m sailing through the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona, discovering along the way that the Crystal Life Spa & Beauty Salon on board the Crystal Serenity provides not only the element of high-end indulgence but also the cruise line’s signature commitment to attention and service.
CONSIDERING THAT JUST A LITTLE more than a century ago — 1910, to be exact — Miami’s population was only about 5,400 people, it’s easy to see why this South Florida hot spot has long been considered a boomtown. And the evolution continues to impress as the city gears up to welcome an array of new services, amenities and experiences.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Ethiopian Airlines added a daily non-stop between Brussels (BRU) and Addis Ababa (ADD). The carrier previously made stopovers in Vienna (VIE) three days a week, increasing the journey time from seven hours to nine.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
Last month, British Airways announced plans to offset carbon emissions from all its flights within the United Kingdom. The initiative begins next year and carbon emissions are offset via the United Nations’ carbon offsetting scheme, which invests in carbon reduction projects around the world, such as reforestation and rainforest protection.