Delta Airlines plans to send warning notices to more than 2,500 pilots about potential furloughs.
The carrier and the labor union have reached an agreement for an early retirement option, a step toward reducing headcount as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the air travel demand.
“To best prepare our pilots, we will send notices to 2,558 pilots as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the “WARN Act”) to let them know of a probable furlough,” reads a memo from Delta’s senior vice president of flight operations, John Laughter.
Furthermore, Delta Airlines says that pilots are free to apply for the voluntary early retirement program from early next month, and those accepted will be informed no later than Aug. 4. About 7,900 pilots will be eligible for early retirement.
Additionally, pilots who opt to take early retirement will get pay for 58 hours every month until reaching the age of 65, or for 36 months, whichever is earlier. The company will also cover up to two years of health insurance premiums and one year of travel benefits.
“While it’s encouraging to see flights returning, we expect our overall demand this summer to be only 25% of last summer’s revenue. We likely remain at least two years away from a return to normal,” CNBC quotes Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian.
Delta Airlines, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the major airlines of the United States. It operates over 5,400 flights daily and serves 325 destinations in 52 countries on six continents.