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RUMOR HAS IT THAT Delta Air Lines' former CEO Ron Allen used to boast that as long as he was at the helm, Delta would never venture into Latin America. True or not, Delta's route system reflected that sentiment. During Allen's tenure, the only Delta flights to the region were byproducts of a merger with Western Airlines in the late 1980s. Delta cigarettes and Delta faucets, two brands with no connection to the airline, were better known in Latin America than this US carrier.
In less than four years, Leo Mullin has changed all that.
Delta's CEO has aggressively transformed a once-regional US airline into a global heavyweight. The company overcame a small-town mindset, harsh critics and three entrenched US giants to become a top US airline in Latin America. "It was the first and most strategic decision I made on my …