Delta Air Lines

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) Due to a drop in demand, Delta Air Lines is instituting a hiring freeze and will offer employees a voluntary leave option in order to streamline costs.

Delta says it is reducing system capacity by 15 percent domestically and up to 25 percent internationally. 

“In the weeks since COVID-19 emerged, Delta people have risen to the challenge, taking every possible action to take care of and protect our customers during a stressful time,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “As the virus has spread, we have seen a decline in demand across all entities, and we are taking decisive action to also protect Delta’s financial position. As a result, we have made the difficult, but necessary decision to immediately reduce capacity and are implementing cost reductions and cash flow initiatives across the organization.”

Other options the airline will implement include parking certain aircraft and evaluating early retirements of older aircraft. 

This comes just weeks after 90,000 employees were expected to receive a share of a $1.6 billion profit payout in mid-February. That profit was boosted by customers gained from rival airlines' 737 MAX cancellations and what Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said was a growing preference for the brand.

Stay with CBS46 News for updates.

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