Delta CEO Ed Bastian ruffled feathers by missing a White House meeting with President Donald Trump last July. Yesterday, airline CEOs again convened at the White House. Yesterday, Bastian was again missing. This time, though, no one is questioning his motives.
Airline Executives Meet At White House
Airline executives gathered at the White House yesterday to meet with Vice President Mike Pence to discuss coronavirus, contentment efforts, and its effects on the airline industry. Trump, who once had his own airline and is loves to dabble with CEOs, also attended the meeting.
- Brad Tilden – Alaska Airlines CEO
- Doug Parker – American Airlines CEO
- Robin Hayes – JetBlue CEO
- Gary Kelly – Southwest Airlines CEO
- Oscar Munoz – United Airlines CEO
Trump tried to downplay the overall negative impact of COVID-19, while noting how difficult it would be for airlines, stating:
“It’s affecting the airline business, as it would. And a lot of people are staying in our country and they’re shopping and using our hotels in this country, so from that standpoint I think probably there’s a positive impact, but there’s also an impact on overseas travel which will be fairly substantial.”
Trump later told reporters that airlines CEOs did not ask for any financial assistance during the meeting.
Why Delta CEO Missed White House Meeting
Bastian took some some heat for refusing to modify his travel plans to meet with President Trump and other airline CEOs in the White House last July. The meeting topic was Qatar Airways and Air Italy, two carriers Bastian decried for years.
But when he finally had the chance to address the issue with the U.S. President and confront the CEO of Qatar Airways, he was a no show, blaming a long-planed family vacation.
Once again, Bastian was a no-show. A Delta spokesperson shared that Bastian could not attend Wednesday’s meeting because he was attending the funeral of his mother, who passed away last week.
Stay strong, Ed. I’m sorry for your loss.
Other than talking out issues, it is not clear any progress was made during yesterday’s meeting. Thus far, airlines have not asked for government assistance, financial or otherwise. Once again, Bastian missed this meeting, but no one is questioning his motives this time.
Or was he just not invited in the first place?