Delta CEO: Taking a stand has 'become part of the job'

Companies are now compelled to take a stance on social issues, as it’s become “part of the job,” Delta Air Lines (DAL) CEO Ed Bastian said.

“For one of the first times, CEOs [are] a voice of leadership authenticity in our country and in our world, higher than politicians… people are looking to corporate America,” Bastian told the audience Wednesday at the Skift Global Forum in New York.

“So we have to have a voice,” he continued. “Our people, our customers, our employees must know what we stand for ... and so as a result of that, is it's become part of the job, and I don't make decisions lightly.”

Taking on gun violence

Bastian’s comments come shortly after corporate America took a stand on gun violence following a deadly mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. The retailer itself (WMT) took action in September and ended sales of certain weapons.

Soon after, American companies also chimed into the conversation, urging the U.S. government to act as well.

“Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety,” executives from nearly 150 companies urged

RELATED: Take a look at the cheapest airlines in the world: 

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Cheapest airline in the world

Tigerair Australia was recently named the cheapest airline in the world in a report by travel search company Rome2rio, with flights costing on average $0.06 per km (US).

Source: Rome2Rio 

Business Insider looked at what it's like to fly with the low-cost domestic airline that serves 13 destinations in the country.

Tigerair was once branded Australia's 'worst airline' but since it was bought by Virgin Australia Group in 2014, Rome2rio says the airline seems to have 'turned its fortunes around.'

Rome2rio said said in its report: "Following years of bad press (it was voted Australia’s worst airline three years in a row), it was bought by Virgin in 2014 who seem to have turned its fortunes around. It’s not often we say this, but sometimes cheapest can be best!"

You'll be welcomed aboard by its smiling fight attendants, if the airline's Instagram is anything to go by.
The cabin crew look pretty glamorous for a budget airline.

You'll just as often find suits commuting to business meetings on a Tigerair flight as you will sandal-wearing holiday-goers — as well as the odd local celebrity.

Above, Today Show hosts Richard Wilkins and Karl Stefanovic pose with cabin crew onboard a Sydney-bound flight.

Source: Escape

Melbourne Storm rugby players have been spotted travelling with the airline, too.

And by the looks of things, passengers have even been known to serenade the entire aircraft.

Tigerair said it recently installed slimline leather seats on its fleet which have adjustable headrests, additional storage pockets, and built-in tablet/phone holders.
It has also introduced a new 'Tigerbites' food market-inspired winter menu, that includes snacks such as a hot mac and cheese bake, bitesize chicken and chips, and a cinnabun for those with a sweet tooth...
...As well as Onyx espresso martinis (not pictured).
The crew definitely like a selfie.

So if you're ever in the country and looking for a cheap internal flight, you may want to give the carrier a go.

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Bastian added that Delta also responded to the issue of gun safety, noting the airline’s move in March of last year.

After the shooting of 17 people in a high school in Parkland, Florida, Delta announced it would stop discounted rates for members of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“There's no reason we should be at a discount for the NRA,” Bastian explained. “It was something that we wanted. So we removed the discount ... but that was very clear.”

Sitting in the main cabin

Bastian acknowledged there’s no focus group that could give a more accurate reading on the company’s performance than flying in Delta’s main cabin when he travels.

“Sitting upfront is boring,” Bastian said

While his presence in the main cabin often illicits quizzical stares and even requests for selfies from other passengers, the experience allows him to “observe what’s going on,” he said.

And when the CEO flies on a Delta aircraft, it’s understood that he’s not paying for his seat.

“I think it sends a signal to customers that the best seating on the plane should go to the best customers,” he said.

Aarthi is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.

Stephanie is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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