Updated: 4:42 p.m. May 28, 2009
Delta, pilots agree on severance deal
By Kelly Yamanouchi
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The pilots union at Delta Air Lines has agreed to a program offering incentives for pilot retirements to help the company cut pilot staffing.
Delta management had proposed the retirement incentive program to the Air Line Pilots Association at Delta to address “what management perceives to be a pilot staffing overage,” according to the union.
The union’s leadership voted Wednesday to approve the retirement incentive program. It will be offered from June 1 until July 15 to active pilots with at least 10 years of service and whose years of service and age total at least 55.
Pilots with less than 20 years of service will get six months of severance pay, while pilots with 20 years of service or more will get nine months of severance pay. The program also includes certain coverage of COBRA or retiree health care, as well as retiree travel benefits.
Delta pilots were not eligible to participate in the company’s buyouts this year and last year, which Delta used to cut about 6,500 employees.
The airline said in a written statement that it “continues to take every step possible to avoid involuntary reductions of front-line employees as a result of current economic conditions.”
Delta has about 12,000 pilots, including pilots from Delta and merger partner Northwest. Delta closed its deal to acquire Northwest in October.