Delta reaches deal with pilots union to avert furloughs

le 02/11/2020 , Compagnies aériennes régulières

Delta Air Lines reached a preliminary agreement with its pilots union to avert furloughs through January 2022, the company and union said Friday.

The agreement in principle saves money for Delta at a time when passenger travel is only a fraction of its pre-pandemic level and averts the prospect of involuntary job cuts with the expiration of a federal payroll support plan for carriers.

The agreement "can help Delta to be better positioned through the long and choppy Covid-19 pandemic recovery," Delta Senior Vice President John Laughter said in a memo to flight operations staff.

"It contains several quality of life improvements while allowing Delta to generate much needed savings through a path to help avoid furloughs -- a key goal of ours from the beginning.

A statement from the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Delta's 13,000 pilots, said the agreement allows the company to save five percent in monthly costs for pilots in exchange for permitting pilots higher tax-deferred savings for retirement.

Delta also agreed to "several scheduling improvements" for pilots, the ALPA said.

Both sides are hoping for another round of federal spending to support airline payrolls. The Cares Act enacted in the spring provided billions of dollars in payroll support aid to Delta and other carriers but barred involuntary airline furloughs through the end of September.


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