...As Thousands Of Jobs Disappear

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Delta Air Lines said last week it will eliminate up to 9,000 jobs -- about 17 percent of its work force -- by the end of 2007, as it struggles to restructure under Chapter 11. The staff cuts and other belt-tightening measures will save $970 million annually, the company said, which is about one-third of the way to its cost-cutting goal. Pay scales will also be cut by 7 to 10 percent for most workers. The fleet will be reduced by 80-plus aircraft by the end of 2006, and the number of aircraft types in operation will be cut from 11 to 7. The airline has already cut 24,000 jobs since 2001. Captain John Malone, chairman of the Delta pilots' union, said the pilots are being asked to bear a disproportionate share of the cuts. "This once great airline cannot successfully recover if the central focus of the recovery plan remains on pay and benefit cuts from the employees who made it great. Operational efficiencies and revenue enhancements must be a greater part of the plan," Malone said.