Ed Bastian, chief executive of Delta Air Lines has admitted that an “intense year” has led to a “particularly long, hard summer” that has “put a strain on everyone and stressed our people and resources”. Bastian concluded that “dedication and stamina can only carry us so far” as he promised additional investments in staffing, catering and equipment.
Non-unionised ground staff and flight attendants are also expected to receive a “much deserved” 4% pay rise on basic wages after they showed “incredible dedication and professionalism”.
It’s been a record-breaking summer for the Atlanta-based airline which has been operating a pumped-up flight schedule of up to 6,100 daily departures through Labor Day. The summer season kicked off with a chart-topping May as Delta flew more than 18.1 million passengers – the most passengers it has ever carried in the month of May.
At times, it’s been clear that, like other airlines, Delta has been operating with stretched resources that have heaped pressure on employees across the business. More disruption from Hurricane Dorian is only likely to intensify that pressure.
In a new memo to staff, Bastian wrote:
“While I’m proud of our success, I know that it’s been an intense year and a particularly long, hard summer. Maintaining our performance levels with record loads has put a strain on everyone and stressed our people and resources. Our dedication and stamina can only carry us so far.
We know we pushed the operation and our teams harder than expected this summer. Just as important as your pay raise, we need to make additional investments to improve the tools and resources needed to deliver an even better product and service for our customers. We will be making needed investments to improve a range of areas, including staffing, catering and equipment – everything from wheelchairs to GSE – and front-line leadership development among others.”
In February, Delta announced a $1.3 billion company-wide profit-sharing bonus that saw the average employee earn an additional 14% on their annual wage. However, the airline has come under fire for a controversial campaign to stop a unionization campaign by some flight attendants and ground workers.
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