Delta Air Lines, pilot union reach preliminary deal to avoid furloughs

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Delta Air Lines planes are parked at their gates in Atlanta

(Reuters) – Delta Air Lines Inc <DAL.N> and the union that represents its pilots have reached a preliminary cost-cutting deal that will prevent furloughs until Jan. 1, 2022, the union said late on Thursday.

Delta MEC, a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, said the agreement – which still needs approval from Delta’s nearly 13,000 pilots – will cut monthly minimum guaranteed hours by 5%.

In September, Delta reached a tentative agreement with the negotiating committee of its pilots’ union to reduce the number of furloughs by 220, bringing the new total number of job reductions to 1,721.

The airline industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak as travel has been restricted amid the pandemic, with Delta and other airlines focusing on cutting costs, boosting liquidity and restoring customer confidence.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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