Delta and Pilots Agree to Limit Outsourcing to Virgin Atlantic
Delta Air Lines said it would refrain from outsourcing flights to its joint-venture partner Virgin Atlantic Airways in a move intended to assuage its own pilots.
The deal, which was first reported by Bloomberg News, comes at a time when the Atlanta-based airline is slated to enter into contract talks with the pilots union. The airline promised the pilots that its international flying would always remain larger than Virgin’s, Rick Dominguez, a representative of the Air Line Pilots Association, told the news agency. The deal includes using Delta’s own pilots and aircraft on flights to and from London.
The U.S. Department of Transportation green-lighted the Delta Air Lines-Virgin Atlantic Airways joint venture 15 months ago, after Delta acquired a 49% stake in Virgin. It gave antitrust immunity to both airlines on routes between North America and the United Kingdom. In March, the airlines started to operate a harmonized schedule for their New York-London transatlantic flights, with a total of nine daily nonstop between the two cities.
In October, Delta and Virgin made some changes to their overseas schedules, transferring some flights linking London Heathrow with Los Angeles International Airport and Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Delta took over operations on one of Virgin Atlantic’s two daily flights between London and Los Angeles, while Virgin Atlantic began to operate one of Delta’s three daily London-Atlanta flights.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)