Tens of thousands of Delta Air Lines employees are set to receive a 4 percent pay rise beginning May 1 as chief executive Ed Bastion announced in an internal memo that the Atlanta-based carrier remained confident of posting a profit in 2022 despite the Omicron variant, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising oil prices.
“It was two years ago this month that the United States declared a national emergency over the COVID-19 outbreak, which began the most difficult and challenging time in the history of our company,” Bastion wrote in Thursday’s memo.
“We’ve come a long way since the darkest days of 2020,” the memo continued. “Two years ago, our revenue plunged 95% almost overnight as travel demand evaporated. Today, we are forecasting a profit for the month of March.”
At the height of the pandemic, Delta managed to avoid furloughing any of its flight attendants unlike other carriers but many workers were convinced to take long period of unpaid leave or early retirement.
“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 memo continued.
The pay rise announcement comes just weeks after Delta employees received a share of a surprise $108 million profit-sharing scheme.
It was the first time Delta had paid out a profit share since February 2020.
Like many airlines and aviation companies, Delta has been struggling to hire enough staff to keep up with the demand for air travel.
Earlier this week, Bastion told a conference in London that the airline had recently experienced its strongest ever week for ticket sales as demand surges when countries lift pandemic-era restrictions.
Bastion also remains sanguine about the war in Ukraine saying that demand has bounced back after an initial lull when President Vladimir Putin first ordered his troops to invade neighbouring Ukraine.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.