JetBlue Guarantees No Furloughs in Agreement With Pilots Union

JetBlue Airways Corp. agreed not to furlough any pilots involuntarily until May 1 in exchange for unspecified contract concessions designed to help the carrier cut operating expenses.

The deal doesn’t include changes to pay rates or significant modifications in work rules, the JetBlue unit of the Air Line Pilots Association said Wednesday in a letter to members. The union said it couldn’t yet disclose short-term changes in portions of its contract from October through April, which will return to normal earlier “if demand for flying recovers.”

Carriers worldwide have been slashing costs and reducing flight operations in response to the near disappearance of demand in late March and April as the Covid-19 pandemic spread and governments imposed travel restrictions. Many airlines are trying to avoid furloughs by offering leave, early retirement and voluntary separation programs.

The union promised to provide additional details to members in coming weeks. The agreement was reported earlier by CNBC.

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