Georgia-based Delta Airlines responded Friday after a Thursday protest by 200 of its pilots who say they are working too many hours and suffering from fatigue.

“This informational exercise Thursday by some of our off-duty pilots did not disrupt our operation for our customers. All of our pilot schedules meet or exceed safety requirements set by FAA as well as those outlined in our pilot contract,” Delta spokesperson Morgan Durant told The Georgia Star News by email.

“As we continue to deliver industry leading operational reliability and recover our network, we are also balancing ways to improve schedules for our pilots,” Durant continued. “All of our people, including our pilots, are working hard to restore our airline and deliver for our customers as we emerge from the pandemic. We are grateful for and proud of their efforts.”

According to WXIA, some of the protesting pilots held picket signs reading “fatiguing schedules = poor reliability.”

Evan Baach is a Delta pilot and member of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) union. He said he simply wanted Delta to acknowledge the issue.

“Today hundreds of Delta pilots showed up to the airport in Atlanta, on their off time, to send a message to management. And the message we sent was very clear: Our pilots are tired and fatigued, frankly, and we want the company to meet with us to find common sense solutions to our staffing issues,” Baach reportedly said, adding that pilots are logging “record amounts” of overtime.

Delta furloughed about 2,000 employees last September, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine against COVID-19, which led to vaccine mandates for employees in the private sector. That, despite the fact that Pfizer was not distributing Comirnaty in the United States at the time.

Delta was so stringent with its COVID-19 vaccine mandates that it even furloughed employees who had religious or medical exemptions for the vaccine.

Those workers were furloughed indefinitely, and there is no word on whether the company has allowed them to come back to work.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Delta Airlines” by Trac Vu.