Nearly 75,000 Delta workers get buyout offer as airline shrinks


“Delta Air Lines, the world’s biggest carrier, will offer voluntary severance payouts to a majority of the 75,000 employees at Delta and Northwest’s mainline operations as part of a plan to cut an unspecified number of jobs, executives said Friday.” That’s from The Associated Press, which adds Delta CEO “Richard Anderson and President Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees that the program is similar to one earlier this year that Delta used to trim about 4,000 jobs.” The move comes as Delta plans to cut capacity this year, meaning less people will be needed to staff the carrier’s reduced operations.

“To deal with the effect of the recession, we are moving quickly and decisively to decrease systemwide capacity by 6 to 8%,” CEO Anderson says in the memo, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Delta did not say how many jobs it is hoping to cut through the severance offer, though AP says the company “said its goal is to achieve all necessary reductions through attrition, limited hiring and the introduction of the voluntary severance programs.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News writes (via the St. Paul Pioneer Press) that “where Delta makes the cuts will be closely watched as the airline continues to meld operations at several domestic hubs, including Minneapolis-St. Paul. It also operates Midwest hubs in Cincinnati and Detroit.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution adds “Delta, whose seven hubs include a New York hub and Northwest’s Detroit hub, has seen weakness among corporate customers in the financial sector and the automotive industry.”