MIAMI – Delta Air Lines (DL) is continuing to honor “The Delta Spirit” by unveiling an Airbus A350-900 with special text dedicated to preserving the airline’s culture and recognizing employees.

In November 2020, Joe McDermott became Delta Air Lines’ Managing Director of People Development and Culture in TechOps. McDermott proposed rededicating the Delta Spirit to a new aircraft following a meeting regarding employee recognition. DL retired its entire Boeing 777 fleet months ago, which included N701DN, the last aircraft to be named “The Delta Spirit”.

McDermott states, “It was natural that we’d think to rededicate the Spirit”. With a project team of 17 people, McDermott’s idea was implemented by dedicating the Delta Spirit to N502DN, DL’s second Airbus A350-900. This 3.6-year-old aircraft now features the text “The Delta Spirit – Dedicated To All Delta Employees Worldwide – February 12, 2021 – Keep Climbing Together”.

Delta Air Lines’ N502DN is expected to fly from the airline’s headquarters in Atlanta (ATL) to Detroit (DTW) on February 13 according to FlightRadar24. From there, the aircraft is assigned to fly from DTW to Seoul-Incheon (ICN) and then back to Atlanta.

Ed Bastian and team members pose in front of ‘The Delta Spirit’. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Continuing to Recognize Delta Employees


Delta Air Lines continues to honor its employees with the latest being this commemorative Airbus A350. McDermott says, “This recognizes the work everyone has put in to guide this airline to successfully emerge stronger and better than before”. Nearly a year ago, DL unveiled an Airbus A321 livery featuring over 90,000 employee names within the words “Thank You”.

“At each pivot point as an airline, we recognized the fact that the Delta people are the best thing and the strongest thing we have to be able to recover,” McDermott says. “It’s about resetting as an airline – reflecting where we were and what we’re going to be as we move forward.”

Delta unveiled almost a year ago an Airbus A321 livery featuring over 90,000 employee names within the words “Thank You”. Photo: Delta Air Lines

In 1982, Delta employees raised $30 million to pay for their first Boeing 767, which was named “The Spirit of Delta”. When the carrier took delivery of its first Boeing 777-200LR, the aircraft was named “The Delta Spirit” as a tribute to DL’s first Boeing 767. The Delta Spirit continues to prosper with the airline’s flagship Airbus A350 taking over the title.


Featured Image: Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-900 “The Spirit of Delta”. Photo: Delta Air Lines News Hub