Delta and Pilots Union Work to Avoid Furloughs

Delta Air Lines and its pilots union are working to avoid furloughs of roughly 2,300 pilots.
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Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Report and its pilots union said they were working to avoid furloughs of roughly 2,300 pilots as the carrier contends with a drop in demand due to the coronavirus shutdown.

Shares of the Atlanta-based company were up 1.7% to $25.63 in premarket trading Monday.

Delta will shift around 7,000 pilots to different locations or aircraft types, while 2,327 have not been assigned to any category, Delta's Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said in a statement. 

The decision followed a so-called "surplus" bid where employees were asked to petition available positions at one of Delta's seven U.S. pilot bases, according to Reuters.

Delta confirmed the release of the results of the bid “to better align our staffing with our future flying demand” and said it is “looking at all options to mitigate or minimize furloughs and will continue working with ALPA in the coming weeks to explore those options.”

The pilots union said it will continue to meet with Delta on potential early-out or voluntary leave programs.

Delta said last week that it plans to offer voluntary separations and early retirements to reduce its workforce. 

More than 41,000 of Delta’s 90,000 employees have already volunteered to take unpaid leaves of up to a year, and thousands of airline contractors have lost their jobs.

Air travel plummeted sharply as governments try to curb the spread of the pandemic through social distancing requirements.

In April, the Trump administration reached an agreement in principle with major airlines over the terms of a $25 billion bailout to prop up the industry, which has been hobbled by the outbreak. 

Last month, Delta announced it was resuming some suspended routes in June.