Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian spoke with FOX Business' Gerri Willis about his airline's plan to expand across the country and commented on the contentious grilling of Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
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Delta's 'monumental' plans
Delta is spending $3.3 billion to expand its facility at New York's LaGuardia Airport and the first phase of that expansion opened Tuesday.
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"It's a beautiful new facility," Bastian told Willis. "Delta, 50 years ago, started flying into LaGuardia Airport with six DC-3s. And today, we have 275 flights a day at LaGuardia -- by far the largest carrier at LaGuardia. And, as a result of that, we need to invest in the infrastructure."
New York isn't the only airport getting a Delta facelift, though.
"We've got a brand, new airport opening in Salt Lake City next year. We're building a new facility out in LAX in Los Angeles. We got a new international facility going in Seattle."
Why all this renovation now? Bastian said the aviation industry was in disrepair a decade ago as many airlines were restructuring. But now, airlines are able to compete on quality and service rather than which is the most affordable, he said.
Will Boeing be able to recover?
Bastian said even though Delta doesn't fly the Boeing 737 MAX jet, any negative news in the industry can affect other airlines.
"We have the ultimate confidence that Boeing will figure it out, and we're rooting for them to get it figured out."
"Fundamentally, they've got to prove the safety of the airplanes to the FAA and the regulators around the world," Bastian said.
Bastian said possibly the biggest task for Boeing to accomplish is to regain the trust of the consumer. He's optimistic they can but doesn't know when that will happen.