Delta Airlines case study



To supplement the 10 questions provided in Issue 128 of Board Perspectives: Risk Oversight, the following additional questions are offered to directors serving on boards of airlines.

  1. Have we evaluated our cash flow from operations and financing needs in view of alternative recovery scenarios? Based on our assessment, do we face any challenges with regard to meeting debt covenants? If so, have we requested waivers?
  2. Have we taken all of the steps required to improve passenger confidence related to the cleanliness of aircraft, expectations around PPE, air quality and passenger screening? Correspondingly, how are we equipping our frontline employees with the tools and information they need to assist our passengers and enforce new safety requirements?
  3. What potential regulatory changes should we consider in our planning and scheduling – for example, social distancing requirements, country or state travel restrictions, and changes in airplane usage (such as increased cargo operations)?
  4. Do we have the data we need to ascertain where and when demand is likely to rebound so that we can refocus planning and scheduling and redeploy fleet capacity on a timely basis?
  5. How are current demand levels and global emissions expectations affecting our strategy regarding environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters? Are we prepared to make the necessary adjustments to our strategy going forward?
  6. What processes, controls and monitoring have we put in place to properly track and report on the compliance requirements set forth in our agreements with the U.S. Treasury related to funds received through the CARES Act (if appliable)?
  7. Acknowledging the workforce reduction in the industry, how does our streamlined organisational structure align with our adjusted strategic objectives? In the event of a pickup in demand, will we have the people we need to effectively respond?
  8. Have emerging privacy considerations related to passenger and employee personally identifiable information (PII) been incorporated into business-as-usual processes?
  9. What plans have been put in place to react rapidly to the next resurgence of COVID-19 (or another pandemic)?


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Board Perspectives: Risk Oversight

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