Delta Pilots Agree To Pay Cuts To Avoid Furloughs

Pilots of Delta Air Lines have voted in favor of pay cuts that would avoid furloughs until 2022. The global health crisis continues to rock the aviation industry, so today’s confirmation will go a long way to secure the future employment of these staff members.

Delta Air Lines
There is a breakthrough for Delta’s pilots. Photo: Getty Images

Saving jobs

According to CNBC, the agreement allows Delta to lower its pilots’ guaranteed hours by as much as 5%. More than 1,700 pilots that would have been furloughed by the end of November will get partial payment of 30 hours a month and will not have to hit the skies. Altogether, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) shares that the deal won 74% approval. The group represents close to 13,000 pilots working for the airline.

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Delta pilots
It has been a worrying time for many pilots. Photo: Getty Images

Appreciation from the airline

According to a memo seen by Simple Flying, John Laughter, Delta SVP and chief of operations, spoke of the company’s appreciation of the collaboration with ALPA leadership on the agreement. He said that he doesn’t think there is any better way to welcome in the Thanksgiving season than with the achievement of protecting all the company’s pilots from being furloughed. Notably, the airline says it will bring all of its pilots back into active flying status as demand returns.

“There is no doubt that this has been a tough time with months of uncertainty, and you have all powered through admirably. Our pilots have mitigated the many distractions and delivered on our core promise of safety, and our support teams have demonstrated flexibility through great change. On behalf of all leaders, I cannot thank you enough,” Laughter said in the memo.

“We are grateful to keep all our pilots actively employed and provide stability for you and your families. Looking ahead, we must remember the challenges will continue. Our recovery will be uneven — as evident by the recent increase in COVID rates which are affecting our bookings for the holiday season. But there is still much to be thankful for, and by working together we continue to maintain and a grow a loyal customer base that feels confident choosing Delta time and again for our safety, reliability and service.”

Delta Air Lines grounded planes
With several planes on the ground this year, the airline has been in important talks with employees. Photo: Getty Images

Preparing for the future

The airline has managed to avoid involuntary furloughs due to the deal. Additionally, thousands of employees have accepted buyouts and voluntary leave. Moreover, the airline has reduced ground staff hours by 25%. Unlike most major carriers in the United States, the airline did not furlough any employees after US government aid via the CARES Act ended on October 1st.

Altogether, with passenger demand expected to remain low heading into 2021, this deal will help to ensure that the pilots will still be in employment in 2022. Additionally, Delta will have the required workforce to take on its services when the climate is improved.

What are your thoughts about the Delta Air Lines pilots avoiding furlough until 2022? Do you feel that this is a good move for both parties? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.