Delta to Lay Off 600 Pilots, Cut Fleet by 28 Jets
Delta Air Lines said Monday that it plans to lay off 600 pilots and retire 28 jets this year in another retrenchment for the nation’s third-largest airline.
The layoffs, which amount to nearly 7% of Delta’s pilots, are the first of permanent employees at Delta in 36 years.
Airline executives said they were unsatisfied by a concession offer made by the Air Line Pilots Assn. but will not lay off flight attendants or other employees connected with the retired jets.
“We believe that if ALPA had joined us, that some of this possibly could have been avoided,” said Ron Allen, Delta’s chairman and chief executive, referring to pay and benefit cuts accepted by other employees.
The pilots should “stand shoulder to shoulder” with the other Delta workers, Allen said.
Delta said that, although the pilots union accepted a 5% pay cut, the union attached too many conditions.
Allen said the layoffs are not in response to stalled talks with Delta’s pilots union, but that the timing was driven by a need to give notice of its plans to terminate the leases on the jets.
The jet retirements and layoffs should save the airline about $100 million per year, Allen said.