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Delta Air Pilots Agree to Pay Cuts to Avoid Furloughs Until 2022

Delta Air pilots vote to take pay cuts and reduced hours to avoid furloughs until 2022, a media report says.

Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Free Report pilots agreed to pay cuts and reduced hours to avoid furloughs until 2022, according to media reports.

Under the terms, Delta can cut the pilots' guaranteed hours by as much as 5%, CNBC reported. 

The Atlanta carrier was set to furlough 1,700 pilots at the end of the month. Instead, Delta will pay them for 30 hours a month without having to fly.

The pilots voted 74% in favor of the plan, CNBC reported, citing their labor union.

Because the pandemic kept travelers at home and aircraft grounded, the airline industry has cut tens of thousands of jobs and thousands of employees have taken voluntary buyouts. 

Delta has avoided involuntary furloughs via the pilots deal, voluntary buyouts and voluntary leaves of absence, CNBC reported. The company also cut 25% of ground workers’ hours.

In September, Delta Air Lines said it wouldn’t have to implement involuntary furloughs for its ground and flight attendant groups in the U.S.

“Delta has effectively managed staffing between now and the peak 2021 summer season for most frontline groups,” the airline said then.

The company also said it was seeking to endure through the pandemic by reportedly raising $9 billion in what has been described as the largest debt deal ever in the aviation industry.

The International Air Transport Association at the end of September predicted full-year global airline traffic would be 66% lower than 2019 levels.

The decline, steeper than its previous call for a 63% drop, stemmed from "hugely depressed" passenger demand in August and September.

The two months were particularly affected by new travel restrictions linked to the resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe and North America.

At last check, Delta Air shares were off 0.5% at $41.08.