Delta SVP & COO, John Laughter, Shared Important Insights During Atlanta Aero Club's Industry Address

Staff Report

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

As the second largest airline in the world, Delta Airlines was hard hit when COVID19 first appeared on the scene.  After having a record performance in 2019, they had a 90% instant downturn in March after the pandemic started to spread.  Delta Airline’s SVP and COO, John Laughter offered cautious optimism to Atlanta Aero Club members that demand for travel is starting to return especially as the holiday season approaches.

“Air travel demand has been improving, but the pace of the recovery has been slower than we originally thought.  We now realize that this will be a multi-year recovery,” said Mr. Laughter. “Safety is our top priority, and we have put stringent protocols in place to ensure our passengers’ confidence.”

To date, Delta has delivered more than 100 enhanced cleanliness and safety guidelines including:

  • Installing hand sanitizer stations onboard and throughout the airports and reducing the number of touch points

  • Cleaning aircraft between flights using electrostatic spraying to disinfect every flight

  • Using HEPA air filters within the cabins that remove 99.99% of particles including viruses

  • Blocking middle seats and limiting capacity to make space onboard and promoting social distancing in the airport

  • Mandatory masks requirements for passengers and staff

  • Daily temperature checks for all employees

Delta is also taking this time to reevaluate its fleet and just announced the launch of their A220-300 series. They have accelerated many of their airport projects including the recent opening of their terminal in Salt Lake City and improvements in Los Angeles and New York.  And while many planes are grounded their Delta Tech Ops division, which provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for aircraft around the world, is thriving.  

“We will continue to match capacity with demand in all departments,” continued Laughter. “What has happened in the last 8 months has been a humbling experience, but our customers will let us know when they want to travel again, and we will be ready!”