by: Jordan Burrows
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Delta Air Lines has provided ABC4 with a statement regarding its pilots picketing at airports around the country.
“This informational exercise by some of our off-duty pilots will not disrupt our operation for our customers. All of our pilot schedules meet or exceed safety requirements set by FAA as well as those outlined in our pilot contract. As we continue to deliver industry-leading operational reliability and recover our network, we are also balancing ways to improve schedules for our pilots. All of our people, including our pilots, are working hard to restore our airline and deliver for our customers as we emerge from the pandemic. We are grateful for and proud of their efforts.”
This Thursday pilots will be at Salt Lake City International Airport to “send a message to management.”
The Air Line Pilots Association, Intl., (ALPA), which is the union representing the pilots says the picket will take place at the Salt Lake City International Airport on April 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Officials say they’re protesting the airline’s scheduling practices that have forced pilots to endure “long and often fatiguing trips.”
“Delta is trying to operate more flights with fewer pilots, leaving no wiggle room for weather delays and operational strains,” said union representatives. “We want management to come to the table to discuss our scheduling concerns. We are spending more time away from home than ever to ensure that we can operate a reliable schedule for Delta customers. Delta passengers and Delta pilots deserve better.”
ABC4 talked to Capt. Evan Baach ahead of the demonstration on Thursday.
“The airline is staffing more flights than pilots,” said Baach. “They don’t have the pilots available to do the flying and our pilots who are frontline leaders during the pandemic have picked up a record amount of overtime.”