Delta Offers Job Guarantees For Pay Cuts


Delta pilots have been told they have guaranteed jobs for at least the next year if they’ll agree to a 15 percent cut in their minimum pay. John Laughter, Delta’s senior VP of flight operations, told pilots in a memo the company is “committed to preventing involuntary furloughs for as many, if not all, Delta people.” About 17,000 employees, including 1,700 of the airline’s 7,900 pilots, have taken voluntary buyouts and the deadline for accepting the package was Sunday. The pay cut option is Delta’s latest gambit in its bid to survive the effects of the pandemic.

Rather than cutting jobs and having the most senior pilots flying the few flights that remain by working regular hours, the airline is trying to keep everyone current. “Our approach is to spread the work of a smaller airline among all our pilots to preserve all jobs—that would be unheard of in our history,” Laughter wrote. Pilots are now flying about 15.5 hours a week, up from the 10 hours they flew in June. In its second quarter Delta’s revenue was down 91 percent and it lost $3.9 billion.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Don’t fall for that trick guys ! Remember how they tried the same thing before during previous downturns ? Only to ask for MORE concessions down the road ! That’s how you end up working for 35 or 40% less before you know it. It’s best to just rip the band aid off ! FULL PAY TILL THE LAST DAY !

  2. AA took a monster pay cut in 2002 to avoid bankruptcy.. They didn’t come out of it until 2015, when they signed their current contract, and never made up all the money lost..!! Get a “dated snap back”, an “associated executive pay cut tied to yours”, and preset all terms for return..