Delta Air Lines gives 4% raises in first pay hike since pandemic began

Delta Air Lines is giving a 4% bump in salary to most of its employees — the first raise staffers have received since before the COVID-19 pandemic brought global air travel to a halt.

Ed Bastian, the airline’s top boss, informed staffers they would receive a raise in a companywide memo on Thursday — noting the Georgia-based firm had “come a long way since the darkest days of 2020.”

“This well-earned base pay increase, for eligible scale and merit employees globally, is the direct result of the dedication, hard work and excellence that you demonstrate every day,” the Delta CEO told staffers.

The pay hikes take effect on May 1 and apply to approximately 75,000 employees, a Delta spokeswoman told Reuters. Pilots and some senior-level executives are not eligible for the increases.

Earlier this year, Delta executives said they expect the airline to post a loss in the first fiscal quarter of 2022, due in part to the Omicron variant surge that interrupted the airline industry’s recovery. However, the company expects to achieve full-year profitability.

Delta says the pay bump applies to about 75,000 employees
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Bastian confirmed that outlook in his note to employees. He said Delta is “forecasting a profit for the month of March” and was “seeing healthy demand for spring and summer travel” as more corporate offices reopen.

“We continue to be optimistic in our ability to generate a profit this year,” Bastian added.

Delta last hiked pay for most of its staffers in 2019, when it provided 4% raises for base salaries.

Delta plane
Delta expects to turn a profit in fiscal 2022.
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The increases were announced as Delta, other airlines and companies across various sectors grapple with a nationwide labor shortage, though a spokesman for the airline told the Wall Street Journal that the hikes weren’t meant to increase retention or lure new workers.

Delta and other major US airlines received $54 million in congressional aid to maintain payrolls during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

With Post wires