Delta Airlines is returning all pilots to active flying status by October this year, signalling optimism for air travel.
In a memo sent to the employees, Delta’s senior vice president John Laughter of flight operations stated that the airline saw an opportunity to bring back all pilots to active flying status as the vaccine rollout continues.
Delta had put 1,713 pilots on reduced pay, with no flying requirement after the airline warned that hundreds of pilots would be furloughed if a cost-cutting plan wasn’t in place.
“We’re preparing to potentially build back to 2019 levels of flying by summer 2023. With that projection in mind, we will post an Advanced Entitlement on March 5th that will begin the process to return all remaining affected pilots to active flying status by October,” Laughter said in the memo.
“This decision is a significant step to position Delta for the network recovery and supports projected customer demand. Even with this momentum going forward, we must keep in mind that there continues to be uncertainty and choppiness in the path ahead, so we need to stay agile and ready to adjust quickly,” he added.