Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

More than 3,000 Delta employees taking severance

ATLANTA – Delta Air Lines Inc. is cutting at least 1,000 more jobs than it previously planned because the number of employees who accepted voluntary severance offers exceeded the company’s goal.

A spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based carrier, Betsy Talton, said Friday that more than 3,000 people took the package, and Delta will accept all of the volunteers.

Delta said on March 18 that it would offer voluntary severance payouts to roughly 30,000 employees — more than half its work force — and cut U.S. capacity by an extra 5 percent.

Executives said then that the airline’s goal was to cut 2,000 frontline, administrative and management jobs through the severance program, attrition and other initiatives.

Talton also said at the time that the company would accept more job cuts, if more than 2,000 employees took voluntary severance.

“We’ll be working through plans to ensure our operations are covered and there could be future hiring for operational needs, depending on capacity needed,” Talton said Friday in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

One part of the severance program was for employees who were already eligible for retirement, or for those whose age and years of service added up to at least 60, with 10 or more years of service. The other part of the program was an “early-out” offer for frontline employees — such as flight attendants and gate and ticket agents — with 10 or more years of service and for administrative and management employees with one or more years of service.

Besides severance payments, employees who take the offers are entitled to travel privileges and additional benefits to manage career transitions.

Delta had 55,044 total full-time employees as of the end of last year. Excluding the current round of cuts, Delta has announced it would cut up to 33,000 jobs since 2001.

Several major airlines in recent months have announced they are cutting domestic capacity, deferring plane orders or shedding jobs because of record fuel prices, which are currently near $130 a barrel.

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Delta Air Lines Inc.

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