Delta has employed “world-renowned cardiologist” Dr Henry Ting as its first Chief Health Officer, as part of the carrier’s continued response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Ting was previously worked at Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit American academic medical centre with which Delta has been partnering since last summer to establish Covid-19 health and safety measures.

Delta said that the addition of Dr Ting as the global brand’s chief health officer was “a first for a US airline”, adding that he had been a primary Covid-19 advisor who had “helped shape Delta’s response since the early days of the pandemic”,

“From employee testing and cleanliness strategies to operational tactics that reduce the transmission of the virus, Dr Ting has been a key voice in the health and wellness decisions that have helped Delta strengthen the people-first approach we were known for even prior to the pandemic,” said the carrier.

“Now that he’s officially part of the Delta team, he will build on that work to help Delta end the pandemic and emerge stronger and better prepared for the future.”

Delta said that Ting’s longer-term mission for the airline would include “listening to our people’s physical and mental health concerns and ensuring Delta is in a leadership position as we transform health and well-being for our people, customers, communities and partners”.

Commenting on his appointment Dr Ting said:

“The culture and values of Delta are what drew me to the organization. I consider myself Delta family as a two-million miler. Having worked with leaders at Delta during this pandemic, I was very impressed by the commitment to the health and safety of people, as well as customers.”

“Mayo Clinic and Delta share the same values. We listen, we solve problems, and we work to enable moments of joy for our people and customers.

“The next normal will be defined by the choices we make today.”

Delta recently extended its policy of blocking middle seats in economy and premium economy classes until the end of April, and last month announced plans to offer customers at-home Covid-19 testing kits, making it easier for passengers to test before departure and then “pack another with them to comply with negative-test requirements before their trip back to the US”.