Delta Airlines plans to bump up non-union employee pay in April amid growing air travel demand from passengers and increased competition from other carriers.
Beginning April 1, worldwide ground and flight attendant employees for Delta Airlines will receive a 5% pay raise, CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo Tuesday. Bastian went on to say that Delta would be creating a 5% pool for eligible merit-based employees.
“This well-earned increase is a direct result of your efforts,” Bastian told employees in the memo. “I can’t thank you enough for your continued commitment and the care you demonstrate to each other, our customers, and the communities we serve.”
Additionally, as part of Delta’s annual Valentine’s Day bonus, the Atlanta-based airline said it would pay more than $550 million to staff, or roughly 5.57% per eligible employee, according to the memo.
The 5.57% bonus “is more than the profit-sharing pool of all our competitors combined,” in addition to being more than 1.5% higher than the bonus given in 2022, Bastian explained.
While a 5% raise to Delta’s roughly 90,000 non-union workers appears to be a fair payout, it’s actually lower than the current 6.5% inflation rate and a fraction of what Delta pilots are set to receive following their upcoming March 1 union vote.
Delta’s more than 13,000 pilots, which are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), are expected to receive a more than 30% pay raise over a four-year contract, according to a preliminary agreement between management and the pilot’s union, CNBC reported.
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a flurry of airline pilots departed the industry or opted for early retirement. As post-pandemic travel returned, major airlines found it difficult to work around the pilot shortage without offering higher wages and more completive benefits.
As of reporting on Friday, Delta Airlines’ stock price (NYSE: DAL) was down by 2.23%, closing off the week at $38.17, according to Market Watch.
The Dallas Express reached out to Delta Airlines to find out whether — in the company’s view — it thought a 5% pay raise was enough to support its employees through a possible recession in 2023. Delta Airlines had not responded at the time of publishing.