Delta CEO Ed Bastian says he would consider using revamped Boeing 737 Max

Delta CEO on Boeing 737 Max, holiday travel

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said he would consider flying the revamped Boeing 737 Max. The 737 Max is currently grounded following two crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.  

"Obviously it needs to continue to go through the certification process," Bastian told "CBS This Morning." "The FAA makes that decision. And once the regulators get comfortable with it... total faith."

Delta didn't have any of the beleaguered 737 Max planes in their fleet before they were grounded and Bastian said they're not planning to order any. But Bastian said safety concerns weren't the issue.

"Safety wasn't part of that consideration," Bastian said. "I tell people sometimes you'd rather be lucky than smart in life. And that was probably more fortune, but the reality is it was not a technology we wanted to advance."

Bastian said Boeing is doing enough to ensure flyers' safety.

"Boeing is an amazing company," Bastian said. "We're the second-largest operator of Boeing equipment in the world. We fly over 600 Boeing aircraft. There's no question that this is going to bring up opportunities to improve safety and learn more as we go forth. But transportation in the U.S., particularly air travel, is the safest of any transportation system in the world."

Bastian also defended Delta investing $12 billion in airport renovations, rather than lowering ticket prices.

"One of the things that we know when we hear from our customers all the time is the real stress of travel is the ground experience," Bastian said. "And right here in New York, LaGuardia is probably ground zero for an airport that really needs to be rebuilt. And we're doing that. So of that $12 billion, almost $4 billion we're spending and building the new LaGuardia Airport. We've got new airports going up in L.A., Seattle, Salt Lake City, we're modernizing Atlanta, we're modernizing Minneapolis. And the flight experience has substantially improved over time."

About 5 million customers will fly Delta during Thanksgiving week, according to Bastian. He said that's the most in Delta history. The CEO encouraged travelers to sign up for TSA CLEAR and to use the Fly Delta app to ensure smooth skies.

"We've added technology such that even if you get stuck in an airport, if you're on the app, there's a live chat feature," Bastian said. "That's the best way to get in touch, real-time, is using the Fly Delta app."