"Delta and our employees look forward to rejoining A4A and working jointly with other airline members to address issues that impact our people, our customers and the communities we serve," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. "We are committed to the future of commercial aviation, and will work together with A4A to support priorities like promoting sustainability initiatives, fighting unnecessary passenger taxes and advocating for policies that enhance the travel experience."
"A4A and our members are pleased to welcome Delta back to the association," said Nicholas E. Calio, A4A President and CEO. "We are a stronger association with Delta as a member. As an industry organization, we work collaboratively in the best interests of our members as well as the customers and communities they serve. We are more effective advocates for the traveling and shipping public when we speak with a unified industry voice."
Delta will join Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air Worldwide, FedEx Express, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, United, UPS and Air Canada. The carrier will officially rejoin A4A in 2020.
The announcement comes as the winter holiday travel period begins this week. A4A has projected that 47.5 million passengers are expected to fly globally on U.S. airlines over the 18-day winter holiday travel period from Thursday, December 19, through Sunday, January 5. An average of 2.6 million passengers will take to the skies each day over the holidays, with daily volumes ranging from 2.2 million to 3 million. That is an increase of 3 percent from the comparable period a year ago. To accommodate the 72,000 additional daily passengers, airlines will offer 88,000 additional seats per day and 884 extra flights per day.
"This is a reminder that this is a great time to fly namely due to affordability and accessibility. Airfares are at historic lows, and carriers are flying more routes to more cities across the country and around the world," added Calio.