Saturday, May 09, 2009

Delta proposes early retirement plan to ALPA to counter 'pilot staffing overage'

Delta Air Lines logoDelta Air Lines has too many pilots. That is the gist of the reason why the carrier has proposed "a pilot retirement incentive program" to the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents Delta's 12,000 pilots.

According to a letter from the chairman of the Delta unit of ALPA to the pilot membership, the proposed pilot retirement incentive program is "designed to address what management perceives to be a current pilot staffing overage." The letter to the pilots from Lee Moak, chairman of the Delta Master Executive Council (MEC) of ALPA, was reprinted in today's Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The letter says that the proposal was presented to the union's Negotiating Committee late last month.
Under the terms of the proposal, active pilots who have met certain age and length-of-service metrics would be eligible to participate in the program. Participating pilots would receive a severance payment, medical and dental benefits for a limited period of time and retiree travel benefits.
The Negotiating Committee plans to meet soon with Delta management to begin discussions regarding the proposal. The number of pilot jobs Delta is seeking to eliminate was not specified.

Separately, the Negotiating Committee also is engaged in discussions with management about details relating to Delta's recently announced closure of the 747-200 categories (both in Anchorage and Minneapolis) and the Anchorage base.

Earlier this year, Delta Air Lines offered a voluntary buyout program to reduce staff in conjunction with a capacity reduction. Delta pilots were not eligible for that program.