In a historic agreement between one of the world’s largest airlines and the city of Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed announced that Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson signed a 20-year Airport Use and Lease agreement.
“I am proud to stand with Richard Anderson today in signing this new, 20-year lease agreement,” said Mayor Reed. “The City of Atlanta and Delta Air Lines have a special partnership because together, we have been more successful than we could have been on our own. Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest and most efficient passenger airport, and Delta is one of the world’s largest and well-respected airlines. Richard Anderson has my personal gratitude for his partnership over the last six years, and I look forward to continuing to work with him and with Delta Air Lines for years to come.”
The new lease and agreement means the following to Atlanta residents and workers:
- The lease will begin July 1, 2016 and will keep Delta Air Lines’ corporate headquarters in Atlanta through 2036.
- The agreement allows Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to move forward with a $6 billion capital expansion program;
- This means the plans to build two new domestic parking decks and add five additional gates to Concourse T;
- The construction a sixth runway;
- The investment more than $900 million in a new international concourse.
The new lease replaces the previous agreement which took effect in 1980 and was extended in 2009.
“Hartsfield-Jackson, the busiest airport in the world, established and plays an integral role in Atlanta’s position as a global economic center and preferred destination. It is an example of civic leadership over multiple generations of Atlanta’s progress,” said Richard Anderson. “Under Mayor Reed’s fine leadership and vision, today’s signing of the 20-year agreement provides the foundation for the next 20 years of investment so Atlanta remains the leading airport in the world, producing more than $50 billion a year and economic activity.”
Hartsfield-Jackson served 101 million passengers in 2015, becoming the first airport in the world to reach this milestone, with a Delta flight arriving in Atlanta officially identified as carrying the 100 millionth passenger. Together, Hartsfield-Jackson and Delta have a major economic impact on the City of Atlanta, the metropolitan region and the state. Delta Air Lines is the largest employer in the City of Atlanta, with more than 30,000 employees working at its headquarters. Hartsfield-Jackson employs 63,000 people, with a direct statewide economic impact of $70 billion.
“Today’s lease signing with Delta Air Lines is a landmark agreement and will ensure the Airport’s continued trajectory as the region’s dominant economic generator for decades to come,” said Miguel Southwell, aviation general manager for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “As part of the agreement, we have maintained our status as one of the most cost competitive airports in the country, kept our rates low for all airline carriers and put in place a forward-looking $6 billion capital improvement plan. I applaud Mayor Reed and his team for their dedicated leadership and unwavering support in this process, Richard Anderson and his team at Delta for their tireless efforts, the Atlanta City Council for their confidence and unanimous vote, and our outstanding team of professionals at Hartsfield-Jackson.”
This agreement marks the last momentous undertaking for Anderson, who joined Delta Air Lines’ Board of Directors in April 2007 and became CEO in September 2007. Under Anderson’s leadership, Delta has strategically recreated its business model, reduced debt and strengthened revenues. Anderson will retire from Delta’s CEO post effective May 2, 2016 and be elevated to Executive Chairman of the Delta Air Lines Board of Directors. Ed Bastian, currently President of Delta Air Lines, will be named CEO on May 2, 2016 and will work with the City of Atlanta to fulfill the airport use and agreement conditions.