ESG Report Highlights Delta’s Accelerated Progress Toward a People-centric Future

Staff Report

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Delta is delivering on its purpose to connect people to opportunity while expanding understanding of our planet and those within it, an ongoing journey detailed in its 2021 ESG Report.

“In a year full of opportunities, challenges and uncertainty, connection remained core to our business,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO. “Delta people were steadfast in delivering on our values as we made significant progress toward our ESG goals throughout the year. Our momentum and drive to connect the world will only increase in the months ahead as we welcome back more travelers to the skies.”

The report provides a holistic picture of Delta’s progress on the company’s ESG goals and initiatives.


Nothing is more important to Delta than the health and safety of its people and customers. Delta safely transported more than 135 million customers in 2021 and was named the Top U.S. Airline of 2021 by the Wall Street Journal in its annual airline scorecard rankings, as well as received Cirium’s Platinum Award for Operational Excellence, among other accolades. The recognition of Delta’s best-in-class reliability was driven by the unwavering commitment of its frontline people, including flight attendants, pilots, airport customer service agents, aircraft maintenance and technical specialists and many others.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta has transformed the industry health standard with new cleanliness practices for customers and employees. Central to advancing these efforts has been the leadership of Dr. Henry Ting, S.V.P. and Chief Health Officer, who joined Delta in early 2021. 

With his leadership, Delta has continued to enhance its employee health and well-being programs, including through the creation of the Global Health and Wellbeing (GHW) Division, a first in the airline industry.  This included efforts to advocate for and communicate the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations, which resulted in a 95% domestic employee vaccination rate at the end of 2021.

Its efforts throughout the pandemic were recognized by J.D. Power, which named Delta the No. 1 airline in the North America Airline Satisfaction Study, among other awards. Delta made a special profit-sharing payment of more than $100 million to its people to celebrate a profitable second half of 2021 and recognize their critical contributions to its success.


In order to make progress toward a more equitable world, Delta is championing equity both within the company and in the communities where its employees and customers live, work and serve. In 2021, Delta made progress toward the goals set forth in its 2020 racial equity action plan.

“We made bold commitments in 2020 that were rooted in driving change inside and outside our business,” said Keyra Lynn Johnson, Delta’s Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. “To accelerate real progress, we are building a culture that pursues equity, seeks diversity and promotes inclusion.”

In 2021, 94% of Delta’s non-executive job openings that were filled by external hires did not require a college degree. This followed the airline’s work to remove unnecessary barriers, like four-year-degree requirements, to certain roles as part of the company’s commitment to become an anti-racist, anti-discrimination organization. Delta also launched a new enhanced inclusion training experience in 2021 and more than 62,000 employees completed at least one of four DEI trainings. Notably, the company has also established a frontline mobility strategy, aimed at sourcing at least 25% of its professional-level positions from diverse frontline talent.