Delta Air Lines says most employees will not be furloughed when restrictions attached to pandemic bailout funds expire on Oct. 1.

In a new memo to employees, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said 40,000 employees took unpaid leaves of absence and one in five retired early or resigned.

Bastian said that means company flight attendants and ground-based frontline employees in the US will not be furloughed. But Bastian said he expects an “overage of pilots” come October 1 and that talks with its union continue.

“While we are all grateful for our ability to mitigate furloughs, it’s important to remember that we are still in a grim economic situation,” said Bastian. “It’s clear the recovery will be long and choppy.” Delta said it is still flying 30 percent of last year’s passenger levels and it is burning through $750 million each month.

The clock is ticking for airline workers with no sign that Congress will take up extending payroll support. Earlier this month, United Airlines and American Airlines sent out notices to more than 30,000 employees that they would be furloughed come October 1.



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