Delta CEO Asks Employees to Take More Unpaid Leave in 2021 As Industry Continues to Struggle

  • The cost-cutting measure is the latest from airlines as they prepare for a difficult 2021.
  • About 18,000 Delta employees have accepted buyouts this year, about 20% of its pre-pandemic workforce.

Delta Air Lines CEO on Wednesday asked employees to sign up for more unpaid leave with a slump in travel to continue into 2021.

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“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 said in a note to staff. “I ask everyone to consider whether a voluntary leave makes sense for you and your family.”

Executives at Delta and other airlines in recent weeks have warned about a slowdown in bookings as Covid-19 infections rose, making it more challenging to trim its cash burn.