Delta Recalls 250 Furloughed Pilots

Delta Recalls 250 Furloughed Pilots

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ATLANTA (AP) -- Delta Air Lines is recalling 250 pilots furloughed during the war in Iraq and has scaled back plans to lay off 1,050 flight attendants.

The airline said Thursday it would let 700 flight attendants go on Monday.

As many as 45 of the pilots could return to work Oct. 1.

Joe Kolshak, senior vice president of flight operations, said in a memo to pilots this week that 168 mostly senior pilots flying Boeing 777s and 767s have submitted plans for early retirement Sept. 1.

Delta spokesman John Kennedy wouldn't comment on whether the retirements and the recall of furloughed pilots were linked. Kennedy cited an expected rebound in travel demand.

More than 1,000 pilots had been furloughed before the war began as the result of cutbacks following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The Air Line Pilots Association filed a grievance over the 250 additional layoffs in April, saying they occurred well after the direct effects of the war.

ALPA spokeswoman Karen Miller said the union was pleased with the recall but said the pilots "should never have been furloughed in the first place."

The union is still pursuing the grievance and wants back pay for all 250 pilots. Miller said Delta had indicated all would be back at work by the end of the year.

Shares of Delta rose 42 cents to close at $12.87 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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