Delta lays off some corporate workers to cut costs

Delta Air Lines is cutting some corporate jobs in an effort to reduce costs as the industry grapples with higher expenses such as for fuel and labor.

“While we’re not yet back to full capacity, now is the time to make adjustments to programs, budgets and organizational structures across Delta to meet our stated goals — one part of this effort includes adjustments to corporate staffing in support of these changes,” Delta said in a statement to CNBC on Wednesday. “These decisions are never made lightly but always with care and respect for our impacted team members and the Delta family.”

Delta didn’t specify how many jobs it is cutting but a spokesman said that they are a “small adjustment” to corporate and management positions. Front-line workers like pilots, flight attendants and mechanics are not affected by the cuts, the spokesman said.

Executives recently reported strong travel demand helping it more than cover costs. Delta posted a third-quarter profit of $1.1 billion, up nearly 60% from a year earlier, but had warned higher costs had reduced its bottom line.

“Growth is normalizing next year, and we expect operational reliability to continue to improve,” CFO Dan Janki said on an earnings call last month. “This will allow us to optimize how we run the airline, reducing operational buffers and driving out inefficiencies that have resulted from the intensity of the rebuild.

Delta and other carriers hired thousands of workers as travel demand bounced back in the later stages of the Covid pandemic.

Atlanta-based Delta has about 100,000 employees, up from about 83,000 at the end of 2021.

The airline had successfully encouraged thousands of employees to take buyouts during the pandemic when demand dried up.

Airlines have more recently ramped up capacity, while demand has moderated, leading to lower airfare compared with last year. Some carriers, including Southwest, are now looking at slowing their capacity growth as bookings return to more traditional patterns.

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