Delta Air Lines will postpone the decision about whether to furlough pilots until at least November 1st. This move gives the Atlanta-based carrier and the government time to work out potential agreements regarding assistance.
The challenge continues
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and Payroll Support Program gave a lifeline to tens of thousands of airline staff members across the United States. The legislation ensured that workers wouldn’t be furloughed until at least October 1st.
However, the deadline is now approaching, and the global health crisis is still taking its toll on the aviation industry. Therefore, employees have been concerned about their careers heading into next month.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
Room for movement
According to Nasdaq, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said that the decision delay will provide enough time as the group seeks an extension of the CARES Act and the Payroll Support Program. It will also allow it to carry on negotiations with Delta. Moreover, it is looking to find alternative solutions to furloughs if additional federal support doesn’t come through. Alpa stated,
“ALPA’s focus will remain on our efforts that seek creative solutions with Delta to achieve a win/win agreement that preserves pilot jobs while positioning Delta to springboard back to where they were pre-COVID.
“Keeping these employees working will invigorate our economy, avert the depletion of state and federal resources, and firmly place the airline industry in the starting blocks for a quick rebound.”
Progress being made
Yesterday, senators proposed a bill to give airlines and ground workers a further $28.8 billion in support. The passing of this bill would protect these employees until the end of March. However, with October nearly a week away, it might not be in action by the time the terms of the current legislation ends. So, with Delta delaying the decision, it could give enough ground for all the stakeholders.
Several medical professionals estimate that the initial phases of an approved COVID-19 vaccine’s introduction could be ready by the beginning of next year. Therefore, it could prove to be vital if airlines were given additional financial support through to March. By the time the next round of assistance is over, several groups in society would be ready to fly again.
Nonetheless, Delta is managing to find solutions to avoid furloughing flight attendants. Therefore, there could be similar conclusions to avoid mass pilot furloughs.
Simple Flying reached out to Delta Air Lines about the furlough delay but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
What are your thoughts about Delta delaying the decision regarding its pilot furloughs by a month? How do you see the situation progressing this year? Let us know what you think of the issues in the comment section.