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CNN This Morning

Ed Bastain is Interviewed about the Airline Industry; Larry Hogan is Interviewed about the Presidential Race; Duncan Crabtree- Ireland is Interviewed about Actors Union Deal. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 09, 2023 - 08:30   ET



ED BASTIAN, CEO, DELTA AIRLINES: Industry does is that we spend all of our time focused on safety. Safety is our highest priority. We do spend time looking at every single incident that occurs, what we can learn from it. There's full transparency around that. No question, there's been a lot of new people that have joined the aviation infrastructure, whether it's on our side as pilots and people working in the airports or air traffic controllers, and that experience factor has certainly caused maybe an increase --

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: That's kind of scary. It sounds like you're saying lack of experience in new employees.



BASTIAN: No, I'm saying there is - there is -- it's a fact that there is new employees -


BASTIAN: Which means that we go extra and beyond -


BASTIAN: To make sure that we've got the controls out front of that, because we know that could be a cause for danger.

HARLOW: You know, we're sitting here eight days before a potential government shutdown. Sad to be reporting that again. But one of the things that happens, if you have a government shutdown, is air traffic controllers don't get trained. And we're short about 3,000 of them in this country.

What would a shutdown mean for travelers?

BASTIAN: Well, a shutdown for -- if there is a shutdown -


BASTIAN: And hopefully there won't be a shutdown -

HARLOW: Hopefully.

BASTIAN: All members of the aviation infrastructure come to work because they're - they're front line necessary employees. And so we'll continue to operate through that.

Yes, no question about it, it would cause a delay in the hiring and the training of new air traffic controllers. Hopefully, it's going to be something that we can work through.

HARLOW: So, you guys saw a surge. It was - it was deemed revenge spending on travel after the pandemic. But looking at the data now, airfares were down 13 percent in this September versus last. Are people's Delta flights going to get less expensive in the next couple of months?

BASTIAN: Well, airfares have moderated a little bit. Remember what we're comparing it to was last year.


BASTIAN: Where people just needed to go somewhere, anywhere, and you really didn't care what the price was. We're now into a more stable position. So, fares have stabilized. So, I wouldn't say fares are down meaningfully, but they - they're - they're more stable.

HARLOW: And they're going to stay here and not go further?

BASTIAN: I - I don't -- I think they're going - there's always bargains. You know, if you're a smart shopper, you can always find - find good - I know you are, you can find good prices on Delta at all times.

But we're also seeing the continued strength of the demand set. We don't have any - I think this revenge travel that people talk about is going to go on for quite some time.

HARLOW: It's going to keep going?


HARLOW: Delta halted its flights to Tel Aviv when the war broke out. Last I've seen, November 21st is when they're going to start again. Is that still the plan?

BASTIAN: I - no, I -- I anticipate we'll be suspended for quite some time.

HARLOW: Quite some time.


HARLOW: What does that mean?

BASTIAN: Well, it depends on what happens. You know, we're not going to go until it's - it's safe to travel into - into Tel Aviv. And while we've suspended for a period of time, while we're trying to figure out what's happening, it's a rolling delay, rolling suspense. But hopefully we'll be back in the first part of next year, but it really depends on what's happening.

HARLOW: You have quite a lens on the economy. Recession?

BASTIAN: I don't think so. I think it's been the most asked question for the last couple of years with all the free money and the easy - easy interest rates that have been out there.


BASTIAN: I think the -- our consumers broadly are doing reasonable well. No question on the lower earning side of the strata there is some real stress.


BASTIAN: But, for Delta, we're a full-service carrier. We have international. We have business. We have premium product. We have economy product. Those products in total are doing quite well.

HARLOW: What about how worried you at just rite large about where we are as a world? I was struck by Jamie Dimon's comments speaking about the war in Ukraine and then - and then he said this right after the war broke out between Israel and Hamas, and he said, "they may have far reaching impacts on energy, on food markets, global trade, geopolitical relationships." And then he said this, Ed, "this may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades."

Do you agree with?

BASTIAN: I - well, we'll find out, right? I think it's no question that what we see happening in Israel, what we see happening in the Ukraine are certainly signs for concern. And I think it's a call for leadership in the world and it's a call for political leadership and unity. It's a call for business to stand behind and be accountable in terms of what we can do to make a difference. And it's not really a time to be talking about what interest rate policy or when the Fed's going to do next.


BASTIAN: It's to really focus on the existential risks that we see.

HARLOW: Existential. Yes, you're -

BASTIAN: Yes, absolutely, we see it. And if you're in Europe particularly, you're surrounded by it.


Artificial intelligence. Every business leader is focused on it. Everyone's wondering what's going to happen. You've said there's a lot of risk if it's not done well. And you even said, "you can never get to the point where machines are making decisions and replacing human judgment." Is the risk to AI to our flights and planes and aviation more now than

the potential upside?

BASTIAN: No. No. I will - I will never get on a plane unless there's two Delta pilots -- at least two Delta pilots on that plane.

HARLOW: Never?

BASTIAN: Never. And we certainly use technology to help our pilots, to help our ground staff, to help our people that manage the company, make better decisions. But you can never replace human judgment in a business like Delta.

HARLOW: Thank you, Ed Bastian. Good to have you.

BASTIAN: Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: See you soon.



PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Republican candidates trying to show they should replace the far and away primary frontrunner, Donald Trump, at last night's debate. Did they make any headway? Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan joins us, was on the stage, maybe later, next.


MATTINGLY: Five Republican governors -- or five Republican hopefuls took the debate stage last night -- some of them were governors, I promise -- to pitch themselves as the best choice in 2024. But another Republican, who wasn't on that stage, released an ad on Tuesday. That Republican was not Donald Trump.



LARRY HOGAN (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND: Our allies question whether they should still trust us and our enemies question whether they should still fear us.

They don't understand the strain of folks in our party that think it's OK what Putin is doing to Ukraine. I think we ought to provide support. We need to stand with our allies and secure peace through strength.


MATTINGLY: That is, of course, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Earlier this year he announced that he would not seek the Republican nomination, but he did not rule out a third-party run. Joining us now, former governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan. He's also

national co-chair of the centrist political organization No Labels, which is actively considering running a third-party candidate in 2024.


Governor, I'm going to be honest, that looks a lot like a campaign ad. Is it?

LARRY HOGAN (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND: Well, it looked like a campaign ad, but it really wasn't one. These are just kind of ads that we've been putting out on issues over and over again. I think we've done 23 of them over the past year or two. But I thought it was timely as we're dealing with these issues and the threats around the world where we have certain members of our political community, on both sides, that are not willing to support, stand up for Israel and others who don't want it to stand up to Putin and help protect Ukraine. And so I just felt strongly what the kind of Reagan peace through strength message was a - was one that we needed to hear. And I'm always trying to continue to be a voice of getting our party back headed in the right direction.

MATTINGLY: You know, to that point, the most -- probably the biggest platform you can have is to run for president. Have you made a decision yet? You hadn't closed the door. Have you made a decision?

HOGAN: No, I haven't. It's not really something that I'm actively working towards. There's been a lot of talk about that possibility. A lot of people have encouraged me to consider it. But it's a long way off. I'm still hopeful that we can find a Republican that can rise up and potentially take the nomination away from Donald Trump. I think that would be good for the Republican Party and good for the country.

I also think it's time that the Democrats convince Joe Biden that perhaps he should not seek a second term and let them find a new generation of Democrats.

You know, 70 percent of the people in America are really frustrated and fed up. They do not want a rematch and they do not want Joe Biden or Donald Trump to be president. So, we're going to have to wait and see as this plays out. It's very, very early. These things change. We've -- once we get into the early states in January and February and by the time we get to Super Tuesday in March, we're going to kind of know exactly where we are. And if - if 70 some percent of the people don't want choice a or choice b, then there's a very serious possibility and opportunity to offer them choice c.

MATTINGLY: So after Super Tuesday is when you will make a final decision on that?

HOGAN: I think the - they're waiting to see when they get past Super Tuesday, have some talk about putting together some kind of -- an effort to put a ticket together.

MATTINGLY: OK. HOGAN: There are all kinds of discussions and suggestions and ideas going on. But it's a, you know, next March, right after Super Tuesday, I think is when they'll make a decision about whether they're going to pull the trigger or not.

MATTINGLY: Can I ask you, you know, in the wake -- the debate last night happened after Tuesday where Democrats had -- I think even Republicans would acknowledge - was a very good night. In fact, Republicans did acknowledge it on the stage.

Take a listen.


VIVEK RAMASWAMY (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I am upset about what happened last night. We've become a party of losers at the end of the day.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Got to do a better job on these referenda. I think of all the stuff that's happened to the pro-life cause, they have been caught flatfooted on these referenda and they have been losing the referenda.


MATTINGLY: On the issue of abortion specifically, do you think your party is just in the wrong place on the policy right now?

HOGAN: I think they're completely out of touch with the voters and what the voters want to be talking about right now. And so it's the same case of, whether (ph) Democrats and Republicans, playing to their base, either in - to their far right base or their far left base, thinking that's going to fire up people at the base of their party, which it will. But it also turns off wide swaths of swing voters that we need to win elections. And - so, I think it's a mistake.

I thought the entire policy in Virginia was poorly planned. I think Governor Youngkin set the bar very high, tried to make everyone in the country believe that he was going to pull off this big switch, taking over both houses of the legislature in Virginia and then that was going to - he was going to roll across the country and it was going to be a big -- he was going to show the rest of us how it's done. Well, he showed us. It was done really poorly. And not only did he not pick up a seat, you know, a body of the legislature, he lost the one that he had. And it couldn't have been a more terrible night for Virginia Republicans and Glenn Youngkin in particular.

MATTINGLY: Do you think Youngkin's political career is over?

HOGAN: Well, he's got two more years to be governor of Virginia. They only get to serve one term. So, I - I don't know what his future holds after that. But he's got to get to work, I mean, and get some things done.

You know, I -- I had a 70 percent Democratic legislature in both houses in my -- in Annapolis, and we got things done for eight years. A tremendous amount. Cut taxes. Got the economy back on track. He's just got to be able to sit down and try to work in a common sense, bipartisan way with the Democrats in his legislature because he can't get anything done without them.


MATTINGLY: Governor Larry Hogan, we appreciate your time. I should say, former Governor Larry Hogan. We appreciate your time. Thank you.

HOGAN: Thank you.

MATTINGLY: Well, after almost four months striking Hollywood actors reaching a tentative deal with major studios. So, when will production start up again? We're going to ask the union's executive director and chief negotiator, up next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back to work Hollywood.






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ah! Oh my God! Oh my God!

Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!

Get - I like, literally, I can't believe - I can't believe I'm not - I can't -- I'm just alone for this.

I am so happy. I am so happy. Oh my God!



HARLOW: I mean by far the video of the morning.

MATTINGLY: That was pretty good.

HARLOW: That was actress Busy Phillips (ph) reacting to the big news late yesterday after almost four months.


The Hollywood actors union releasing a tentative deal to end their strike. SAG-AFTRA releasing a statement saying the strike was officially suspended overnight, although the terms of the deal still need to be ratified by the union's members. The union has not revealed the full details of the agreement. The statement says that agreement is valued at more than a billion dollars. It includes new protections for the use of AI and streaming participation bonuses. Union president Fran Drescher called it an historic deal, thanked the Alliance Of Motion Picture and Television Producers for agreeing to the terms. The AMPTP represents big studios like Disney, Paramount, NBC Universal, and Warner Brothers Discovery, of course, the parent company of CNN.

With us now, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director and chief negotiator for SAG-AFTRA.

I bet you are a sigh -- breathing a sigh of relief after four very difficult months this morning.

I know you can't tell us everything, but can you give us a sense of the AI protections for actors in this deal?

DUNCAN CRABTREE-IRELAND, NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SAG-AFTRA: Sure. Yes, thanks for asking. And I am definitely breathing a deep sigh of relief after 118 days on strike to finally reach this agreement is super meaningful.

The AI protections are really focused on informed consent and fair compensation, which is what we've been saying since the beginning. And, you know, they're intended to be protections that not only will make sure that our members have the right to control the use of their image and likeness today, but as the technology develops and grows in the industry will continue to provide them with that kind of control. And it's so essential because it's really their persona that's being used.

Also helps address generative AI and the use of generative AI as the industry starts to implement it over the coming years. So, these protections are absolutely essential. And they were - they were necessary. The deal couldn't be made without them. So, I'm glad we were able to find that path.

MATTINGLY: You know, Duncan, the studios said that they were giving you their best and final offer on Saturday. You guys finally clinched the agreement on Wednesday. What triggered - what was the final step? What - what was the last thing that needed to happen to actually get this across the finish line?

CRABTREE-IRELAND: Well, on Saturday we just weren't quite there on AI actually to be - to be perfectly honest. I mean you -- you zeroed right in on it, that is one of the things in this negotiation that's been just essentially necessary. It couldn't be done without it. And I think we finally, you know, got the message across. And both sides were able to find that approach that met their needs but actually provided our members protection that our members needed. That's what it's all about.

HARLOW: Duncan, that sounds like a very diplomatic way of saying it wasn't their best and final offer and they came back with something else. CRABTREE-IRELAND: Yes, I mean, there were - there were a few changes

to the deal after last Saturday. And I think, you know, whenever you're in a negotiation, you're signaling things to a side, you're trying to get them to understand where you're coming from. I think when they said that, what they meant was we are close to the end. But we - and we were close to the way it turned out, but AI was a key point that had to be pushed a little further to get across the finish line. And that happened yesterday.


CRABTREE-IRELAND: And once it did, we were all very happy to bring the strike to the end.

MATTINGLY: What's the timeline, not to be a consumer here, but I am.

HARLOW: But he is.

MATTINGLY: Everyone's trying to figure out because there's been so much talk about a ticking clock, right? If the deal wasn't reached in this kind of time window right now, entire seasons were going to be lost, productions were going to be lost. How quickly do things get back up and running? Do you just snap the fingers and go or is there a process here?

CRABTREE-IRELAND: Well, I wish it were that simple. It's not quite snap the fingers and go. But I do know that the studio and streamers have already brought back some of the crew and other people who had to be involved in pre-production activities. So, there are some projects that will start up fairly quickly. But there are also others that have a longer runway.

But the fact is, starting immediately, starting now, everyone can get back to work and the prep process for those projects can begin. So, I think, as a consumer myself, and like you, we can all be excited to know that our favorite content is probably on its way back as soon as possible.

HARLOW: Phil is very excited about this I can tell.

MATTINGLY: Very excited.

HARLOW: We all are.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, thanks very much.

CRABTREE-IRELAND: Thank you so much.

HARLOW: Well, new recognition for recording artist Tacey Chapman and her classic fabulous song "Fast Car" with a little help from country artist Luke Combs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the CMA award for the Song of the Year goes to "Fast Car" Tracy Chapman. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: I don't even want to read it. Just kind of want to listen to the song.

Chapman became the first black song writer ever to win a country music award last night for Combs' cover of her Grammy Award winning song. In a statement Chapman said, quote, "it's truly an honor for my song to be newly recognized after 35 years of its debut."


LUKE COMBS, MUSICIAN (singing): So I remember when we were driving, driving in your car. Speeding so fast, I felt like I was drunk. City lights lay out before us, and your arm felt nice wrapped around my shoulder. And I, I, I had a feeling that I belonged. I, I, I had a feeling --



MATTINGLY: Luke Combs, that is, of course, Luke Combs, also won a CMA for single of the year. In his acceptance speech Combs thanked Chapman for writing, quote, "one of the best songs of all time." Combs' cover has reached number one on the country air play chart. That also makes Chapman the first black woman to top the chart as a solo writer since it came into existence in 1990.

HARLOW: What's your Tracy Chapman song - like story? We all have one.

MATTINGLY: Like, all of us. It was like some - some bad moment or a breakup or something like that where you were like driving your car in high school.

HARLOW: Totally. Totally.

MATTINGLY: That just got really personal really fast.

HARLOW: Like a breakup. Like, I'm never going to get over him, you know.


HARLOW: There is that.

Did you see the hat Luke Combs was wearing?

MATTINGLY: No, what was it?

HARLOW: So, you didn't see it?

MATTINGLY: Yes, I saw it was a Vikings hat. I was hoping you didn't see it.

HARLOW: Go Vikings. MATTINGLY: The Vikings beat the 49ers.

HARLOW: There you go.

MATTINGLY: See, there it is.

HARLOW: There you go. Thank you, Luke Combs, but, thank you, Tracy Chapman, for your beautiful words all these years.

Thanks for being with us.

MATTINGLY: CNN NEWS CENTRAL starts right after this break.