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Photo Credit: The Economic Club of Washington, D.C./Joshua Roberts

Ed Bastian

Chief Executive Officer, Delta Air Lines | September 17, 2019

Livestream: Watch Here

Thank you to our event sponsors: Air Line Pilots Association; Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP; Capitol Counsel LLC; Clout Public Affairs; Delta Air Lines; Navigators Global LLC; Omega World Travel; Team Hallahan LLC; The Messina Group

Ed Bastian, Chief Executive Officer of Delta Air Lines, joined Economic Club President David Rubenstein to discuss Delta's success as one of the largest air carriers in the world. Bastian recapped his rise from a 25-year-old who had never stepped foot on an airplane, to an accountant, to CEO of Delta Air Lines. During the conversation, Bastian highlighted the company's ability to increase efficiency year over year for the past decade, including a 99 percent reduction in maintenance cancellations since 2010. This year will be Delta's fifth consecutive year of profits over $5 billion. Bastian credited the airline's success to the employees and that the $1.3 billion in profit-sharing by the company is an investment that allows them to rise above the rest. Looking forward, Bastian stated investment in infrastructure is crucial for the industry's success, and that's why Delta is now building airports across the U.S., including in LAX, Seattle, Detroit, and the new LaGuardia Airport. Delta is now one of the fastest-growing companies among the Fortune 100 at 7 percent growth per year. "It's really been the work for the last 15 years that's enabled us to get to this point."

Prior to joining Delta, Ed held senior finance positions at Frito-Lay International and Pepsi-Cola International. Ed started his career with Price Waterhouse where he became an audit partner in its New York practice.

Ed grew up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He lives in Atlanta, and is deeply involved in his faith, family and community.