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Delta, United Delay Pilot Furloughs Through October 2020

Delta, United Delay Pilot Furloughs Through October 2020
Joe Cortez

As airlines and labor unions continue to plea with Washington to provide more Payroll Support Program funds, two airlines say they will hold off on furloughing pilots for two more months. United Airlines will keep pilots on through Oct. 30, 2020, while Delta Air Lines will defer a final decision until Nov. 1, 2020.

Two airlines say they will keep on their pilots through the month of October 2020, on the hopes that Congress will pass additional funding to protect aviation jobs in the next 40 days. Reuters reports both airlines have made the decisions along with their respective airline unions, as they continue to campaign for more financial support.

Preservation of Jobs is Dependent on Complete PSP Extension

The provisions were made in conjunction with the Air Lines Pilots Association, which represents pilots at both Delta and United. Previously, Delta said they would furlough around 1,900 pilots, while United planned to remove 2,850 aviators from their ranks.

“This move will provide time as we continue to lobby for a clean extension of the CARES Act,” read a statement from the ALPA Delta Master Executive Council, as reported by Reuters. “And the Payroll Support Program and resume our negotiations with Delta.”

Prior to the agreement, Delta’s MEC criticized the Atlanta-based carrier over the tactic of public negotiations. In a statement written by MEC chair Capt. Ryan Schnitzler, the union accused Delta of creating “…fear into the minds of the pilots who management has placed in the precarious posion of facing furlough.”

At United, the union MEC claimed a small victory when they reached a tentative agreement to prevent pilot furloughs. Under the agreement, all furloughs would be delayed until June 2021, while pilots over 50 would be given another round of early exit options. Although neither United nor the ALPA have commented on the latest furlough deferral, Reuters reports the temporary relief was secured through a memorandum of understanding.

Aviation Industry in Full Force Requesting Additional Support From Washington

With only days left before the Oct. 1, 2020 furlough deadline, stakeholders in the aviation industry have been out in full force demanding additional payroll protection support from Washington. To those means, they have somewhat succeeded: Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA-TV reports two Republican senators introduced a bill which would give an additional $28 billion to airlines for payroll support.

However, economists say the rush to aid the aviation industry is too much, too soon. With flyers still nervous about travel, a number of academics say the airlines would be better off to restructure instead of taking more government money.

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1 Comment

  1. Dougg

    September 24, 2020 at 4:11 am

    As an American tax payer we don’t need to bailout another industry with tax payer money. Let them go bankrupt, they will reorganize and everything will be fine.
    It’s about time the airline industry gets disrupted.

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