ATLANTA — Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees Thursday that the company will be avoiding furloughs for many employees while they delay pilot furloughs, for now, until Nov. 1.
Bastian's memo noted the airline industry had collectively agreed to old off on furloughs until today, Oct. 1, back when a series of financial relief measures were passed to help the airline industry through the pandemic.
Congress has not acted to extend any of those relief measures, and both American Airlines and United Airlines announced their furloughs as Oct. 1 arrived today.
Bastian wrote Delta, however, will be foregoing most furloughs for now.
"Fortunately, thanks to the hard work, shared sacrifices and innovative thinking of our people, Delta will avoid involuntary furloughs for our flight attendants and ground-based frontline employees in the U.S.," the CEO wrote.
In August, Delta announced it would be furloughing nearly 2,000 pilots in October. But Bastian said Thursday those would be delayed at least until Nov. 1, which he said "will provide additional time for the pilots’ elected representatives to try to reach an agreement with the company that will prevent all pilot furloughs."
"I’m hopeful the same commitment to innovative thinking and shared sacrifice can avoid furloughs for Delta pilots as well," Bastian wrote.
Delta said in August it will need about 9,450 active pilots for the summer 2021 schedule, which it expects will be the most active time in the next 12 to 18 months. However, roughly 11,200 pilots are still on the roster even after September's voluntary retirements.