ATLANTA, May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On a cold winter evening in January 2007, Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) employees gathered outside of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the airline illuminated its iconic 'Fly Delta Jets' sign for the first time in years as the airline worked through bankruptcy.
"It was the same day that we found out that the creditors were going to reject the US [Airways] hostile takeover and stay with Delta and invest in the people of Delta to let us out of the bankruptcy," said Ed Bastian, who officially became Delta's CEO on Monday. "We relit the light, we celebrated our freedom, and it was a great evening."
The re-illumination of the iconic sign was a simple but symbolic gesture that lives on in the memories of Delta people, who bore scars of bankruptcy and a hostile takeover attempt but who bear even more pride for their airline.
Now, the story will live on in the archives at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as Delta, an airline that has forged millions of connections around the world, is partnering with StoryCorps, a nonprofit organization whose mission, similarly, is to build human connections by preserving and sharing remarkable stories.
"In our deep history of preserving human stories, Delta is one of the few brands mentioned organically by the people we recorded," said Dave Isay, Founder of StoryCorps. "It's a testament to the impact the Delta culture and its travel experience can have on our society. We are so excited to be working together and have high hopes for the stories that come out of this partnership."
Delta and StoryCorps kicked off the first phase of the partnership in April, when StoryCorps' MobileBooth came to Delta's General Offices in Atlanta to record Delta employees' personal accounts reflecting the airline's culture, mission and values. The partnership will expand to include stories from Delta customers, and Delta will also share StoryCorps' larger collection of interviews in-flight through Delta Studio.
"We share with StoryCorps a mission to build human connections around the world and are excited to further our mission by sharing employee and customer stories through the StoryCorps lens as well as sharing stories with our 180 million annual customers in-flight through Delta Studio," said Julieta McCurry, Delta's Director – Marketing Communications. "We never take for granted the distinct privilege we have of being part of the formative, meaningful moments in the lives of our employees and customers, and with gratitude to them, we share these intimate interviews that show who we are and the culture and values for which we so proudly stand."
The first interview is a conversation between Bastian and Glen Hauenstein, who also assumed his role as Delta's President on Monday. Their conversation reflects the paths that led them to Delta, what it took to 'breathe new life' into the airline during its darkest hour, and the transformative career moments that have helped shape the airline Delta is today.
From the illumination of the Fly Delta Jets sign, to Delta's annual breast cancer survivor flight, stories of Delta are many. The StoryCorps interviews tell stories of triumph and tragedy, of love, life and loss – from Assi and Marco, who met while sitting next to each other on a Delta flight and later married, to Tim and Ron, who forged a bond through their grief over the loss of their children and now help others at Delta who have experienced the loss of a child. Listeners will meet Andrea, who made a promise to herself that she would become a Delta pilot and is now an MD-88 Captain, and Brian, who reveres and cares for fallen service members during their final journeys home as the leader of Delta's Honor Guard.
Five interviews will be shared this week as Delta marks the beginning of a new chapter with Bastian's transition to CEO. After the first week, interviews will be shared every Tuesday throughout the summer on Delta News Hub.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines serves nearly 180 million customers each year. In 2016, Delta was named to Fortune's top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the fifth time in six years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented five consecutive years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 330 destinations in 61 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products and services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on the Delta News Hub, as well as delta.com, Twitter @DeltaNewsHub, Google.com/+Delta, Facebook.com/delta and Delta's blog takingoff.delta.com.
Founded in 2003 by MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps has given a quarter of a million Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives, pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future. It is the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.
Recording a StoryCorps interview couldn't be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you chose, to one of the StoryCorps recording sites. There you're met by a trained facilitator who greets you and explains the interview process. You're then brought into a quiet recording room and seated across from your interview partner, each of you in front of a microphone. The facilitator hits "record," and you share a forty-minute conversation. At the end of the session, you walk away with a copy of the interview, and a digital file goes to the Library of Congress, where it will be preserved for generations to come. Someday your great-great-great-grandchildren will be able to meet your grandfather, your mother, your best friend, or whomever it is you chose to honor with a StoryCorps interview.
With the 2015 TED Prize awarded to Dave Isay, StoryCorps has also launched an app that puts the StoryCorps experience entirely in the hands of users and enables anyone, anywhere to record meaningful conversations with another person. Uploaded interviews are preserved at the Library of Congress and on the website StoryCorps.me.
StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of the stories we record through popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful stories illustrate our shared humanity and show how much more we share in common than divides us.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines