Delta to avoid most involuntary furloughs except for pilots, CEO says

Delta Air Lines CEO sees pent-up demand for travel, plans to extend ‘middle seat’ policy amid COVID pandemic

We want consumers to feel as confident in their flight safety as they do in their personal safety, Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, tells Liz Claman during an exclusive interview on ‘The Claman Countdown.’

Delta Air Lines said Tuesday it will avoid involuntary furloughs for most frontline employees except pilots, the result of thousands of employees who participated in voluntary leave programs and reduced work hours, according to an internal memo from CEO Ed Bastian.

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The airline has "effectively managed our staffing between now and the start of peak summer 2021 travel," Bastian said in the memo. That includes flight attendants, ground-based frontline employees and others.

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"Unfortunately, we still expect an overage of pilots as of Oct. 1," Bastian said. "There still is time to mitigate this potential furlough and discussions are ongoing with the pilots' union as we continue to look for ways to cost-effectively reduce or eliminate this number."

Under the terms of a $25 billion bailout fund that was created earlier this year as part of the CARES Act, airlines are prohibited from cutting jobs or reducing workers' pay through Sept. 30. Delta received $5.4 billion through the program.

Airlines are required to inform employees of mass layoffs 60 to 90 days ahead of time.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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