ATLANTA: Delta Air Lines’ discount for National Rifle Association members should not have been seen as an endorsement of the organization, airline CEO Ed Bastian told employees in a memo sent on Friday morning.
"Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from this debate," Bastian said in the memo, which was shared with PRWeek.
The airline rescinded the group travel discount for the NRA’s annual meeting last week, 10 days after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
On Thursday, Republican lawmakers in Georgia killed a jet fuel tax exemption that would have benefitted the airline in response to Delta’s decision to end the partnership with the NRA.
"Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale. We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature," Bastian wrote.
The CEO also reaffirmed that Atlanta is Delta’s "home."
"None of this changes the fact that our home is Atlanta, and we are proud and honored to locate our headquarters here," he wrote. "And we are supporters of the Second Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the United States."
Since the Parkland shooting on February 14, companies such as United Airlines, Hertz, and others have cut ties with the NRA, and retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, Kroger, and L.L. Bean have changed their sales policies on guns and ammunition.