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Updated: 11:36 a.m. Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | Posted: 8:28 a.m. Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Delta offers early retirements

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delta israel photo
Delta said its Flight 468, a Boeing 747 from JFK with 273 passengers and 17 crew, diverted to Paris-Charles de Gaulle on Tuesday after reports of a rocket or associated debris near the airport in Tel Aviv. The plane shown above is a file photo.

By Kelly Yamanouchi

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines expects to about 800 to 900 employees to take early retirement offers.

Delta’s executive vice president of human resources Mike Campbell said employees have another week to consider the offer, which could change the result from the company’s forecast.

According to Delta spokeswoman Keyra Lynn Johnson, the program is voluntary and hiring will continue as needed. Delta said a key reason it is offering the early retirement program is the availability of the health insurance exchanges.

U.S. employees who meet certain age requirements and years of service are eligible, except for pilots or merit employees above a certain level. Those eligible can get severance, retiree travel and COBRA health insurance reimbursement to allow for a smooth transition into the health insurance exchanges.

Meanwhile, the company said healthy corporate travel, strong demand in the U.S. and its focus on the New York and Seattle markets brought in more revenue, offsetting weakness the carrier is seeing in the Pacific region.

Airlines are raising fares due to strong demand, with Delta president Ed Bastian saying in a written statement that he expects unit revenues to continue to increase this quarter.

Delta on Wednesday reported a $801 million profit in the second quarter, up 17 percent from its results a year ago. Its operating revenue increased 9 percent to $10.6 billion.

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