Delta has announced that it plans to furlough nearly 2,000 of its pilots unless the CARES Act is extended. That provided the industry with $25 billion in payroll assistance since March in exchange for a halt to employee layoffs, involuntary furloughs or pay cuts. Delta hopes to avoid or reduce furloughs if cost-cutting agreements are made with their unions and if the CARES Act gets extended. The airline announced a record adjusted quarterly loss of $2.8 billion last month. By early August, 17,000 of its employees, 20 percent of the total workforce, had left the company through buyout packages or early retirement, according to a CBS News report published earlier this month. It also found that 80,000 airline workers across the U.S. are facing furloughs in the fall as the coronavirus pandemic devastates the industry.
United Airlines has warned half of its staff that they face a similar fate in October with 36,000 workers set to be impacted. That total includes 15,000 flight attendants, 11,000 customer service representatives and gate agents, 5,550 maintenance workers and 2,250 pilots. Some airlines have managed to avoid taking such drastic action. For example, Spirit expected to furlough 600 of its pilots in the fall but it managed to reduce that figure to zero after successful negotiations regarding voluntary leave. American Airlines had also warned that 25,000 staff members could be furloughed after the CARES Act expires and that is no longer on the cards after it reached a deal with its pilot union to offer more leave and an early retirement package.