American and United Airlines are cutting 32,000 jobs after Congress failed to reach a new deal on federal aid plans. Delta has been able to a delay job cuts for now, but CEO Ed Bastian says they may have to furlough 1,900 pilots in the future if Congress doesn’t reach a stimulus deal.
“If we don't get the support from Congress, we will be required as an industry to furlough tens of thousands of workers,” he told CNN Thursday. “Also very importantly, we're flying to a lot of small cities because of the CARES Act, that we're being provided, that otherwise would lose service.”
Apart from severely impacting jobs in the aviation industry, the pandemic has also impacted the sense of safety among flyers. Delta has already mandated masks on flights and Bastian says the company is also working on offering its flyers rapid tests.
There is a possibility where Delta may require a flyer to first take a rapid Covid-19 test before boarding, he adds, saying it would largely ensure safety and help passengers avoid quarantines upon arriving at their destination.
“The thing that's holding traffic back internationally and you know, in New York, are the quarantine measures. No one is going to be flying to Europe in the spring if they are uncertain whether they can do anything or how long they have to stay or if they are able to enjoy their trip or conduct business. The testing is critical to avoid those quarantines," he said.