Delta CEO featured as one of 25 leading American business innovators

Ed Bastian, CEO Delta Air Lines, and Sir Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Atlantic hold a meeting at Finance Park in the Junior Achievement Discovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday June 20, 2018. (Chris Rank/Rank Studios)

Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines CEO

Posted by Sade Williams

Alongside household names and innovative thought leaders including Tory Burch and Pharrell Williams, Delta CEO Ed Bastian is featured in the February print edition of Fast Company as one of 25 leading American business innovators.

The feature re-counts common main stage themes from the 2018 Fast Company Innovation Festival around “the importance of taking a stand, embracing creativity and inclusivity and finding trusted collaborators” that speakers, including Bastian, weaved throughout their appearances.

Bastian’s stance on ending a group airfare discount for the National Rifle Association, and the “heat” Delta took for it by way of Georgia lawmakers voting to eliminate a jet-fuel tax break are cited as examples of leadership in the piece, along with his view about why he chooses to fly in main cabin: “I want to be in the middle of what’s going on. That’s why I fly coach, because I want to hear from customers.”

Delta was named a 2018 Fast Company Most Innovative Company for its industry-leading work to bring RFID bag tracking to every customer in real time through the Fly Delta app. Over the past several years, Delta has led the airline industry on a number of innovative customer solutions like launching the first biometric terminal in the U.S., automatic check-in via the Fly Delta mobile app, an alliance that will empower customers with seamless in-cabin connectivity experience, and a groundbreaking app that helps Delta pilots avoid turbulence for a more comfortable flight.

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