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Delta to Furlough 2,000 Pilots

Nearly 2,000 Delta Air Lines pilots will be furloughed October 1 – the most recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Delta’s Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) called the planned layoff of 1,941 pilots a management tactic to force acceptance of involuntary concessions.  Layoff protections for workers at airlines that accepted part of the $25 billion aid package under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expire at the end of September. 

Delta calls the move a fix to an overstaffing situation.  In April, Delta accepted $5.4 billion in aid from the federal government.  Two months later, it issued a warning to more than 2,500 of its 14,000 pilots of potential furloughs.  Delta offered approximately 7,900 voluntary retirements.

The union said that more than 1,500 pilots will voluntarily leave their career as a Delta Air Lines pilot on September 1 and that hundreds more would follow so that their colleagues have a chance to continue to pursue their profession. 

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.