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Delta, Pilots In Tentative Accord

September 23, 1999

ATLANTA (AP) _ Delta Air Lines reached a tentative agreement with its pilots covering two new, larger planes.

The agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association announced today provides new pay scales for pilots flying the Boeing 777 and 767-400 aircraft, as well as other contract improvements. It does not settle the ongoing negotiations aimed at reaching a new overall agreement with Delta pilots.

Pay rates will be $250 an hour for the 777 and $230 for the 767-400. The pact also creates a process for creating ``appropriate″ rest areas for pilots and flight crew on international flights on the new planes.

``This tentative agreement balances the best interests of our company and our pilots, and it is a demonstration of a positive effort by ALPA and Delta,″ said Delta’s president and chief executive, Leo F. Mullin. ``Once this agreement is ratified, Delta can move forward with our plans for offering our customers the most modern fleet in the industry.″

Union representatives had no immediate comment.

The airline began flying the much larger 777s in May, but took delivery on only two of the planes _ delaying 11 other orders _ because it had not reached agreement with the pilots on their pay for flying the planes.

Delta later discontinued use of the 777 in its winter schedule and threatened to sell or lease the planes if an agreement wasn’t reached. Today’s announcement did not address future plans for the planes, and a company spokesman did not immediately return a phone call.

The airline and its 9,200 pilots began negotiating a new overall contract earlier this month. The current overall contract extends until next May.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether today’s agreement on pilot rest facilities for international flights will be carried over into the overall contract.

Earlier this year, a Delta pilot refused to continue a flight to Tokyo because he and his crew did not get adequate rest in what pilots considered cramped and noisy quarters.

The decision was later upheld by the company and was introduced into the contract talks.

Other improvements in the agreement announced today include the folding of a 6 percent profit sharing payout into pilots’ base pay rates, a 3 percent raise for pilots not covered by the new 777/767-400 agreement and adjustments to the pay scale progression for non-captains.

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