Delta’s unwavering commitment to keeping customers and employees safe throughout the global pandemic has earned its title as the World’s Most Admired Airline by Fortune’s Most Admired Airline List and the hospital-grade “Diamond” rating from Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying.
“This is a remarkable achievement in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian in a companywide memo. “It is validation that our decision to always put people first is elevating our global brand and building trust and loyalty among our customers.”
World’s most admired airline
Published annually, Fortune’s Most Admired Companies list is a ranking of the world’s most respected and reputable companies based on an extensive survey of thousands of leading executives, experts, and analysts across 52 industries. It ranked Delta as No. 1 for the 10th time in the past 11 years. The company was named among Fortune Magazine’s Top 50 Most Admired Companies of 2021 for the eighth consecutive year—ranking No. 23 overall and top among airlines in social responsibility, people management, and long-term value.
Judged on categories ranging from innovativeness to social responsibility, Delta’s ranking indicates the airline is well-positioned to lead the global recovery in 2021. To Bastian, the ranking is largely due to the great work of Delta’s employees, who have continued to put customers first.
“We know that our customers who need to travel feel safe on Delta because of your incredible efforts to keep them safe and healthy, as well as actions such as blocking middle seats, mandating masks, and regularly testing Delta people,” he said. “When travel demand returns, our customers will remember how Delta took care of them during this painful time in our history.”
Companies were ranked by leaders on a variety of attributes, both general and industry-specific, as well as their overall reputation among the business community.
Among airlines, Delta ranked No. 1 in the following categories:
- People Management
- Use of Corporate Assets
- Quality of Management
- Social Responsibility
- Financial Soundness
- Long-Term Investment Value
- Global Competitiveness
Diamond rating for cleanliness
The highest-level certification for airline cleanliness and safety was determined by the two organizations, Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying, through a new, independent health safety audit across the industry.
Delta has led the industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in protecting the health of our employees and customers to ensure a feeling of safety and confidence when deciding to fly.
In 2020, Delta launched the airline’s first Global Cleanliness organization and put in place more than 100 layers of protection to ensure a safe experience for our customers and employees, known collectively as the Delta CareStandard. These safety measures include, but are not limited to, blocking middle seats and limiting onboard capacity for flights departing through March 2021, requiring masks through the travel journey; regularly sanitizing high-touch surfaces, and replacing onboard industrial-grade HEPA filters twice as often as recommended.
“Keeping our people, our customers and our communities safe has never been more important,” said Mike Medeiros, V.P. – Global Cleanliness. “We have high hopes that vaccinations will tame the virus this year, but we know that the next few months will be difficult. We’ll continue to focus on our health and safety protocols, developed in collaboration with partners like Mayo Clinic and RB, the makers of Lysol, as we deepen our presence with teams of clean ambassadors at airports and deploy new and emerging innovation to remain both effective and efficient.”
In recent months, the team of clean ambassadors has led efforts to install hand sanitizer stations and antimicrobial lighting on aircraft, provisioned Lysol Disinfecting Wipes to clean customer-facing areas at airports and on aircraft, and worked with TSA to introduce antimicrobial bins to screening lanes at select Delta hubs and ensure checkpoint cleanliness in airports nationwide. These and other efforts, including Delta’s commitment to putting in place additional touchless features throughout the travel experience, were among those recognized by the audit’s 10-category, 58-point checklist.