Delta Air Lines Inc., the new owner of Northwest Airlines, will offer employees incentives to leave as it makes deeper cuts in 2009 flights.
Voluntary retirement and early-out packages will go to U.S. hourly and salaried workers, Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson said in a message to employees. Atlanta-based Delta hasn’t said how many jobs it needs to shed as it pares seating capacity as much as 8 percent more in 2009.
“To leave the capacity in the marketplace when there’s not demand is not in anybody’s best interest in the long run at Delta,” Anderson said in a message recorded on Dec. 5. “The economy is in tough shape. There’s no dispute.”
His comments expanded on Delta’s disclosure of the planned seating cuts on Dec. 2, when the Atlanta-based airline also said it would have “voluntary programs” to trim the payroll without specifying when they might start or what form they might take.
Enrollment will begin in January, and “we hope to get as many volunteers as we need,” Anderson said.
Delta used buyouts earlier this year to cut 4,000 jobs, or about 7.3 percent of the workforce before buying Northwest in October to become the world’s largest airline. Delta has said its fourth-quarter U.S. capacity will shrink by 13 percent. Northwest eliminated 2,500 jobs, or 8.1 percent of its payroll.