Delta to offer buyouts to 30,000 employees

USA Today as well as many other news outlets are reporting this today, something I am predicting will be the beginning of a trend over the next few weeks/months, at least on the capacity reduction end:

ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines (DAL) says it will offer voluntary severance payouts to roughly 30,000 employees — more than half its workforce — and cut domestic capacity by an extra 5% this year as part of an overhaul of its business plan to deal with soaring fuel prices.

Executives at Atlanta-based Delta said in a memo to employees Tuesday that the airline’s goal is to cut 2,000 frontline, administrative and management jobs through the voluntary program, attrition and other initiatives.

A spokeswoman says that if more than that amount agree to take the voluntary severance, that will be allowed. The severance program primarily affects mainline Delta employees.

Delta had 55,044 total full-time equivalent employees as of the end of last year.

 My dad called me about an hour ago and said “Did you hear that Delta is laying off 30,000 people?” I explained to him it was actually only 2,000 people that they wanted to leave, but it seems like the news outlets might be portraying it somewhat differently. I don’t know about others, but I think the headline is somewhat misleading. I’ve never been in Corporate America so don’t understand a lot of this mumbo-jumbo, but I’m wondering if there’s a reason they’re offering it to 30,000 people when they only want to lay off 2,000. I’m guessing there are 30,000 people in the departments that the layoffs will be coming from (probably almost everything except for pilots and FA’s), but at the same time I think it would be better to say “Delta looking to have buyouts for 2,000 employees.” I’m curious whether 2,000 people will accept the offer, or whether it’s substantially more or less. In addition it’s interesting to note that they’ll be cutting 5% capacity, just a tad bit more than United.

Good luck to the airline industry, I think they need it!


  1. They want 2,000 people to go, and they give 30,000 the option to be part of that “lucky” group. Seems like a fairly employee-friendly way of dealing with headcount reductions. In other industries 2,000 people would be hand-picked by their managers to get the pink slip. Of course, these voluntary separations often lead to some of the most employable (elsewhere) people leaving…

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