Dhaka: Delta Air Lines has asked its pilots to take a 15 per cent cut in minimum guaranteed pay for one year, saying that could help the airline avoid layoffs when federal payroll aid runs out in October.
An executive said in a memo to pilots on July 17 that Delta must shrink because of a steep drop caused by the coronavirus pandemic. John Laughter, Senior Vice President, Flight Operations, Delta, said the airline’s approach “is to spread the work of a smaller airline among all our pilots to preserve all jobs”.
The Air Line Pilots Association said the proposal was premature. The union said Delta should first see how well voluntary measures work, such as employees taking partially paid leave. The union was also upset that Delta went directly to its members to describe a proposal that apparently was made to union negotiators earlier this week.
Separately, the same union reached an agreement with United Airlines on buyouts and leaves of absence aimed at reducing the need for furloughs. The agreements now go to pilots for approval.
The Delta proposal and response from the union illustrate the pressure facing airlines and their employees as a hoped-for recovery in air travel seems to be stalling. US air travel dropped 95 per cent but was recovering slightly until flattening out in July, as new coronavirus cases surge across the South and Southwest.
The Transportation Security Administration screened 706,164 people at airport checkpoints on Thursday, July 16, down 74 per cent from the same Thursday a year ago.