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Delta pilots vote for pay cuts in deal to avoid furloughs through 2022

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Delta Air Lines pilots voted in favor of a deal that avoids furloughs through Jan. 1, 2022 in exchange for pay cuts, a union representing the pilots said Wednesday.

The 1,713 Delta pilots, who were expected to be furloughed on Nov. 28, will now receive a partial pay of 30 hours a month along with medical benefits and vacation accrual, while they stay off their jobs.

“I don’t think there is any better way to welcome in the Thanksgiving season than with the achievement of protecting all our pilots from furlough,” Delta’s head of flight operations John Laughter said in a memo addressed to employees.

The airline industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak that brought travel to a near halt, with Delta and other airlines left scrambling to cut costs and boost liquidity as sales plunged.

“This agreement will help Delta navigate the COVID crisis and emerge a stronger airline in the end,” Delta MEC, a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, said in a statement.