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This airline is changing its look in the skies

April 30, 2015, 6:47 PM UTC

Delta buys a refinery

Consumers have a ton of complaints about airlines. That they don't refine their own jet fuel is not one of them. Nonetheless, in April, Delta decided to spend $220 million to buy and restart a shuttered oil refinery on the outskirts of Philadelphia. It wasn't Delta's largest deal of the year. The company agreed in December to buy 49% of Virgin Atlantic airlines for $360 million (a deal that received plenty of criticism, too). But the refinery acquisition was Delta's most controversial. Delta's CEO Richard Anderson said the refinery would greatly reduce the airline's exposure to rising and falling jet fuel prices. Yes, but it will also greatly increase the company's exposure to changes in the price of oil, which is the primary input for a refinery. And while Anderson is worried about that, passengers will be left wondering why their connecting flight in Atlanta never showed up. Editor's note: A previous version of this slide incorrectly stated that Delta agreed to purchase 49% of Virgin America in December. Delta agreed to purchase a stake in Virgin Atlantic.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty

Flight attendants and customer service agents for Delta Airlines (DAL) are about to get much more fashionable, courtesy of designer Zac Posen.

Posen will be designing new uniforms for the airline’s staff, and will be advising on new uniforms for many other uniform-wearing employees of the company.

“With Zac’s talent and expertise, and in partnership with Delta people worldwide, we look forward to creating a timeless, fashionable and functional new collection that will continue to be a point of pride and symbol of our brand for the 170 million customers who fly with us each year,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s senior vice president for marketing, in a statement.

Pilots were not mentioned in Delta’s press release. The new uniforms are expected to debut in early 2018.

In a recent report, Delta had quarterly adjusted pre-tax income of $594 million.