ATLANTA – Delta Air Lines announced on Monday that it would be laying off 2,000 pilots to help balance losses caused by COVID-19. Even after better-than-expected participation in Delta’s Voluntary Early Out Program the company is still fighting to right itself due to a massive decrease in travel.
“We are six months into this pandemic and only 25% of our revenues have been recovered,” John Laughter said. “Unfortunately, we see few catalysts over the next six months to meaningful change this trajectory.”
Delta said 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 schedule even after September’s voluntary retirements. As such, the company plans to lay off 1,941 pilots in October with those pilots likely getting a letter later in the week. Lay-offs can still be avoided if conditions improve. However, some of that will fall on whether the CARES Act is extended by Congress.