Along with the reduced pay option, the pilots union also reached an agreement on provisions for sick pay for pilots who are diagnosed with COVID-19, are required to quarantine or decide to self-quarantine.
"We are living in unprecedented times," said Delta pilots union chairman Ryan Schnitzler in a memo to the airline's pilots. While the union is in ongoing negotiations with the company on a long-term labor contract, "we must deal with the crisis at hand — helping our Company mitigate the effects of COVID-19 while protecting our pilots."
The union leadership held an emergency conference call Friday during which Delta announced its plans to cut flying by 40%, eliminate nearly all of its flying to Europe and park 300 planes.
The airline had asked the pilots union for assistance to help mitigate the effects of the cutbacks, and issued a statement thanking the union's leadership for its collaboration.
Due to the urgency, the union leaders said they decided to agree to the terms, without putting it up for a vote by the union membership, and voted to approve it unanimously effective immediately.
Delta is also substantially reducing its use of contract workers and consultants.