Delta Air Pilots: Accept furloughs or agree to pay cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters): Delta Air Lines told pilots on Friday it would avoid furloughs if they agreed to reduced guaranteed minimum pay, according to a memo.

According to the details, Delta is still struggling due to a dramatic decline in travel demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This week it reported second quarter revenue fell 91% and a $3.9 billion adjusted pre-tax loss.

The airline is working to further cut costs and more than 17,000 employees are taking voluntary departure packages, including more than 1,700 of 7,900 pilot ahead of a Sunday deadline for pilots to accept voluntary packages.

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Delta flight operations senior vice president John Laughter said in a memo the company is “committed to preventing involuntary furloughs for as many, if not all, Delta people.” Laughter said the company proposed reducing guaranteed minimum pilot pay by 15% for 12 months in exchange for a guarantee of no furloughs for one year.

Laughter said Delta pilots are currently being paid for more hours than they are actually flying. In June pilots flew about 10 actual hours and it will be 15.5 in July.

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A spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association said the union met with Delta on Thursday and suggested the airline was choosing “to negotiate in public directly with our pilots,” which it said that could impede the process.

Global airlines will suffer a record net loss of $84.3 billion this year, more than double the $31 billion in loss incurred during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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Aviation Industry Losses to Top $84 Billion in 2020