Delta Furloughs 1,941 Pilots

Delta has let employees know that they’re furloughing 1,941 pilots hired July 17, 2017 and later. That’s out of a remaining approximately 11,200 remaining pilots with the company, after accounting for voluntary early departures from the airline.

Furlough letters will be sent out this week. Between now and October they’ll continue discussions with their pilots union on whether senior pilots want to give up some of their flying, redistributing it to junior pilots, to keep these two thousand pilots on board. That seems unlikely or it would have already been agreed to – and there’s little incentive for the majority of pilots to voluntarily take a financial hit for their junior colleagues.

Delta has had greater success overall mitigating likely furloughs than American and United, though not quite as much as Southwest which says it will not furlough employees this year. American’s furlough numbers are expected to come out tomorrow or Wednesday, but certainly this week.

(HT: @SDYankee69)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. “Furlough letters will be sent out this week. Between now and October they’ll continue discussions with their flight attendants union on whether senior pilots want to give up some of their flying, redistributing it to junior pilots, to keep these two thousand pilots on board.”

    Delta doesn’t have a “flight attendants union.”

  2. “ continue discussions with their flight attendants union ”

    Did you mean pilots union here? I don’t think Delta has a FA Union, right?

  3. title should say “Delta to furlough…”

    also, as stated above, you meant Pilot union, not FA union.

    great job other than that .

  4. One of the big three is not going to be around in three years. Delta is the best candidate to go out of business..

  5. ” That seems unlikely or it would have already been agreed to – and there’s little incentive for the majority of pilots to voluntarily take a financial hit for their junior colleagues.”- I wonder how senior these pilots are. Are they going to retire in the next few years? Seems like it would be in the best interest of the airline to keep developing the younger less expensive pilots so that years later when demand does finally fully return they will have all the experienced pilots they need instead of a bunch of old pilots putting in for retirement. I understand its probably the pilot’s union that creates this situation.

  6. @Bill

    “I understand its probably the pilot’s union that creates this situation.”

    The pilot’s union creates half of it, and management creates the other half.

    Management likes it because when times are good, new hires get added to the bottom of the lists, e.g., at the cheapest possible cost. And let’s be honest, after they get done with the furloughs, management can then go back to the remaining pilots for concessions. Because what are the senior pilots going to do, go work for another carrier? Is someone else is hiring, that new hire goes to the bottom of the list. So management can get concessions with little risk of attrition.

    People get all pearl-clutchy over this arrangement, but it’s pervasive across the industry. Everybody knows it when they sign on, and you learn it from the day you begin your pilot training. This just isn’t a surprise.

    Who do I feel sorry for? The regional airline pilots. ExpressJet just got screwed through no fault of their own. Given the size of ExpressJet’s operation, the aircraft will likely get transferred to CommutAir in some way shape or form, and then the pilots that go over all go over at first year pay. And yet… UA retained CommutAir as the “surviving” carrier because their flight crews cost less, either because they’re more junior or they have lower pay rates. Remember, ExpressJet has been around FOREVER. They’re going to have senior pilots at the top of the pay scale. CommutAir, not so much.

    If you don’t like the system, don’t be a pilot.

  7. @ jedipenguin — why would you say Delta is the most likely to go out of business (do you have any data to back that up)? Delta has consistently had the highest returns and profit of the big three.

    If anything, American is at biggest risk, due to their high pre-covid debt and inability to command high fares.

  8. CirrusFlyer,
    Some info I’ve been reading comes from Airliners.net which I should take with a grain of salt. I totally forgot about Amercan’s debt. However, there are cracks appearing-JV partner in bankruptcy or near bankruptcy, the oil refinery. The relationship between Delta’s pilots and management may get nasty over JV flying. REM sums it up-Everybody Hurts.

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