Delta CEO asks employees to take more unpaid leave in 2021 as industry continues to struggle

Delta Airline employees examine in baggage on the Ronald Reagan National Airport on July 22, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all employees and passengers are required to put on facemasks whereas onboard a Delta aircraft.

Michael A. McCoy | Getty Images

Delta Air Lines CEO on Wednesday requested employees to join more unpaid leave with a droop in journey to proceed into 2021.

“Our voluntary unpaid leave program will continue to be essential to positioning Delta for the recovery, and we will need participants for the foreseeable future,” Ed Bastian mentioned in a notice to workers. “I ask everyone to consider whether a voluntary leave makes sense for you and your family.”

Executives at Delta and different airways in current weeks have warned a couple of slowdown in bookings as Covid-19 infections rose, making it more difficult to trim its money burn.

The Transportation Security Administration mentioned it screened 501,513 individuals at U.S. airports on Tuesday, the fewest since July four and a couple of quarter of the 1.9 million individuals TSA screened a 12 months in the past.

During an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Bastian mentioned regardless of Christmas and New Year’s Eve a couple of weeks away, demand would doubtless climb to nearly a 3rd of final 12 months’s ranges. He mentioned he expects a rebound in air journey in the spring after Covid vaccinations ramp up.

More than 40,000 Delta employees have opted for unpaid leaves of absence on the firm’s urging. Roughly 18,000 accepted buyouts and early retirement packages, reducing Delta’s pre-pandemic headcount by about 20%.

Other airways are eyeing more cost-cutting in 2021 with a restoration nonetheless months away. JetBlue Airways advised employees on Tuesday that it plans to pause worker raises, paid parental leave and lengthen govt pay cuts into 2021, CNBC reported.

“We are planning for revenue to be billions of dollars lower than usual, and are challenging teams across JetBlue to reduce costs and improve efficiency even further,” Mike Elliott, JetBlue’s chief individuals officer, mentioned in a notice to employees.

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