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Delta Air Lines Safety Program - Case Study Example

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In 2005, Delta Air Lines was named one of the safest companies in America (About Delta), and in 2006, SafetyXChange, an online community for safety professionals to share ideas, awarded Delta Air Lines its Henshaw Award for Corporate Leadership in Safety, which "honors a company that has integrated health and safety as an essential part of its business" (Delta Honored, para…
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Delta Air Lines Safety Program
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Download file to see previous pages 7). The security tax imposed on ticket prices after 9/11 by the government occurred at a time when customer demand was at its lowest level. According to Mullin, post-9/11 actions by the government, though well-intended, created an estimated $6.5 billion more in costs for the airline industry overall. Mullin, in his government testimony, requested national security funding mechanisms to be utilized rather than imposing taxes and costs specifically on the airlines. In the period since 9/11, passenger traffic has made a slow recovery and returned to pre-9/11 levels by mid-2004. However, as public concern over security faded, problems involving inadequate infrastructure capacity, poor labor relations, and low customer satisfaction re-emerged. For a major airline like Delta, low-fare airlines created a serious challenge, with business travelers willing to give up amenities and unwilling to pay higher fares (Airline, 2005).
Even though safety continued to be a priority for Delta, financial problems accelerated to a point where the only option for the company was bankruptcy. It was the decision of Delta, as had been the case with other major airlines, to declare bankruptcy in 2005, and the company's restructuring since then has developed a fundamental transformation. At present, Delta is one of the most popular and safest carriers in the market (Airline Industry, 2005).
Safety as a Priority at Delta Air Lines
A safety program at a major airline requires attention to every facet of the industry, and Delta Air Lines has developed an extensive program, from health and safety in the Delta workplace to an open-door policy for employees and the public to express safety concerns. As a licensed F.A.A. part 121 air carrier, Delta must follow the guidelines of a part 121 certificate. The certificate governs all major airline carriers such as American and Delta and is the highest-ranking certificate issued. A part 121 certificate requires extensive training for pilots and mechanics with advanced regulations for aircraft and pilot operations (Aircraft & Passenger Safety, n.d.). It should be noted that in March 1997, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) changed the definition of Part 121 operations.Prior to the change, scheduled aircraft with 30 or more seats were operated under Part 121 and those with less than 30 seats were operated under Part 135. After the change, scheduled aircraft with 10 or more seats were classified as Part 121 operations; therefore, since 1997, most carriers that once were popularly known as "commuters" now operate under Part 121 (NTSB, 1998, section 2, para. 2).
A survey conducted over a 17-year period by the National Transportation Safety Board showed that the U.S. aviation system as a whole was maintaining a high level of safety. The NTSB examined only air carrier operation in the United States performed under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 because the majority of the Board's survival factor investigations are conducted in connection with Part 121 carriers. From 1983-2000, nearly 96 percent of occupants involved in a Part 121 aviation accident survived the crash (NSTB, 2001, p. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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