US major carrier Delta Air Lines has reportedly entered a preliminary cost-cutting agreement with a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Delta MEC.

The agreement is expected to help avoid furloughing employees by the airline until 1 January 2022, CNBC reported, citing the union.

Last month, Delta Air Lines deferred its decision in August to furlough nearly 2,000 pilots until 1 November this year after negotiations continued.

The latest agreement, which is subject to approval from Delta’s early 13,000 pilots, would reduce the monthly minimum guaranteed hours by 5%.

In a note to employees, Delta operations chief John Laughter was quoted by media sources as saying: “While this agreement is still subject to approval, we are confident this can help Delta to be better positioned through the long and choppy Covid-19 pandemic recovery.”

Meanwhile, Delta has planned to delay the furlough effective date until 28 November. The company had planned to furlough up to 1,941 pilots.

Earlier this month, American Airlines and United Airlines moved forward with furloughs involving more than 32,000 employees.

Congressional leaders and the White House recently failed to reach an agreement to extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program (PSP) before the deadline.

Southwest Airlines urged its workers to take a 10% pay cut to avoid cuts through 2021, but said that it wouldn’t pursue furloughs this year.