Saturday, 27 June 2020

Delta pilots to be offered early retirement as more furloughs are on the way

The US mega carrier Delta Air Lines confirmed on Friday evening warning notices would soon be sent out to approximately 2,500 pilots over possible future flight deck crew furloughs at the airline as it reorganises itself to the much-reduced demand after the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In an effort to best prepare our pilots should furloughs be needed, Delta will send required notices to approximately 2,500 pilots,” a Delta spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the so-called ‘WARN’ notices will be sent next week.

The airline has also reached a tentative agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) union over a pilot-specific voluntary early retirement option which the airline is desperate to bring in. 

The airline also announced that it would be extending its block on selling the middle seat on its aircraft until at least the end of September.

“Reducing the overall number of customers on every aircraft across the fleet is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure a safe experience for our customers and people,” said Chief Customer Experience Officer Bill Lentsch. “Delta is offering the highest standards in safety and cleanliness so we’re ready for customers when they’re ready to fly again.”

Delta says it will also continue to block the selection of some aisle seats in aircraft with 2x2 seating configurations.

From check-in to baggage claim, Delta is delivering a safer travel experience with measures that include:

Requiring customers and employees to wear face coverings throughout the travel journey to ensure an extra layer of protection.
Installing plexiglass shields at all Delta check-in counters, in Delta Sky Clubs and at gate counters across the globe.
Adding social distance markers in check-in lobbies, Delta Sky Club check-in areas, at the gate and down the jetbridge to encourage customers to stand apart. Our employees and messaging throughout the airport are reminding customers to keep space, too.
Wiping down our check-in lobbies, self-service kiosks, gate counters and baggage claims many times throughout the day. And by summer, our teams will be using electrostatic spraying in all airports Delta serves in the U.S. – the same measure used on every Delta flight prior to boarding.
Using state-of-the-art air circulation systems with industrial-grade HEPA filters on many Delta aircraft that extract more than 99.99% of particles, including viruses.
Boarding all flights from back to front, reducing the instances of customers passing by one another to reach their seats.
Streamlining onboard food and beverage service on all flights and encouraging customers to pack their own food and non-alcoholic beverages to decrease physical touch points.
Providing supplies directly to customers when available, including hand sanitizers, care kits and other protective equipment to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Continuing to work with health experts, partners and healthcare industry leaders on best practices.

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