Delta CEO on NRA debate: ‘You’ve got to stand up for what you believe in’

During an appearance at a conference in Atlanta on Wednesday, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian weighed in on the flap last month over the carrier's discontinuation of an NRA discount.

"You've got to stand up for what you believe in, and people want to hear what your company is in today's society more than ever," Bastian said during remarks at a Hope Global Forum annual meeting at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. In late February after ending the discount for NRA members flying to the gun group's convention, the airline encountered backlash from Georgia legislators who subsequently halted plans for a $50 million jet fuel tax break that would have benefited Delta. Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle pledged in a tweet to "kill any tax legislation that benefits Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with the NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back."

Bastian said Wednesday that “we’re not going to let the state decide how we run our business.” He said Delta supports the second amendment, and added: “We’re also believers in the first amendment.”


AJC Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi keeps you updated on the latest news about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines and the airline industry in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on, including these stories:

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