Delta Air Lines facing over-staffing situation

Tough decisions for Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines has revealed plans to furlough 1,941 pilots from 1 October, due to the impact of COVID-19. A statement released on 25 August said the that Delta’s Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Master Executive Council characterised the action as a ploy by management to force acceptance of involuntary concessions.

Layoff protections for workers at airlines that accepted part of a US$25 billion aid package under the CARES Act expire at the end of September, prompting Delta’s decision to address what it called an over-staffing situation.

“ALPA has drafted numerous, mutually beneficial proposals that would provide the airline with voluntary cost savings measures like those agreed to at virtually every other US carrier,” said the union in a statement. “In fact, on 1 September, more than 1,500 pilots will voluntarily leave their career as a Delta Air Lines pilot, with hundreds more following that, so that their colleagues have a chance to continue to pursue their profession.

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“This management team has repeatedly struggled to maintain proper staffing in healthy situations. This drastic reduction of nearly 4,000 in pilots will unquestionably undermine our airline’s ability to successfully and efficiently increase flying and take advantage of competitive opportunities as the industry recovers.”

According to ALPA, Delta’s pilot workforce remains the only “major” employee group to have received job loss notices. It added that it offered “countless” voluntary options to management to prevent furloughs from happening.

“It’s not too late for management to complete discussions at the bargaining table and help mitigate the need to furlough,” said the union. “It’s not too late for them to take a constructive rather than a destructive approach in dealing with this unprecedented situation.”


photo: Leonard Zhukovsky /