Delta Hits 'Pause' on Pilot Furloughs
- Delta and the leadership of its pilot union reached a tentative deal that would prevent furloughs until Jan. 1, 2022. The carrier previously had said as many as 1,900 pilots could lose their jobs on Nov. 1. The deal, struck between management and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), would reduce line-pilot compensation by 5% but also would allow for more favorable scheduling terms, ALPA said. The agreement now goes to the union’s Master Executive Council (MEC) before membership votes on it.
Delta has agreed to push back the furlough date until Nov. 28 in order to give the union more time to weigh the deal and for membership to vote. “While this agreement is still subject to approval by the MEC, we are confident this can help Delta to be better positioned through the long and choppy Covid-19 pandemic recovery,” John Laughter, senior vice president of flight operations, said in a memo to pilots. “If the federal government extends the CARES Act payroll support program under the same terms, the deal would “pause,” resuming only after that new funding expired,” ALPA’s Delta MEC said in a statement.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the White House have reached a stalemate on further coronavirus aid, and standalone bills for the airline industry have stalled in both the House and Senate. Both Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have said negotiations could resume after the Nov. 3 election, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been noncommittal. When the CARES Act expired on Sept. 30, airlines began furloughing more than 30k employees.
- Allegiant is furloughing up to 130 pilots on Nov. 1. Allegiant has reduced its management and support headcount by about 300 employees, through a combination of voluntary separation and leaves of absence but noted on its third-quarter earnings call that it did not reach an agreement with its pilot union on a voluntary program.
- Hawaiian Airlines will continue operating some Ohana-liveried ATRs on routes subsidized by the federal government’s Essential Air Service program. Hawaiian had previously said it would shutter the inter-island turboprop service on Nov. 1, due to issues with pilot scope clauses. The mainline airline flew few hours while the state was quarantined, which meant that mainline pilots flew very few interisland hours with the airline’s B717s and A320s. This triggered the scope clause in the pilot contract on Ohana flights, which are operated by Empire Airlines as a regional feed. Hawaiian has said it could restore the Ohana operation if interisland demand starts to return.