Pilots of US carrier Delta Air Lines have agreed to accept a reduction in pay to avoid furloughs until 2022.

During the voting, the pay reduction plan secured a 74% vote, Bloomberg reported citing the Air Line Pilot Association (ALPA).

The association represents nearly 13,000 pilots from Delta.

As part of this plan, the company will reduce guaranteed hours by as much 5% or two hours for each pilot. In October, the airline reportedly entered a preliminary cost-cutting agreement with ALPA unit Delta MEC to help avoid furloughing Delta employees until 1 January 2022.

Around 50,000 employees have so far already taken voluntary unpaid leaves for as long as 12 months while another 18,000 prefer to leave or take early retirement.

Delta chief of operations John Laughter was quoted as saying: “We are grateful to keep all our pilots actively employed and provide stability for you and your families.

“Our recovery will be uneven – as evident by the recent increase in Covid rates, which are affecting our bookings for the holiday season.

“But there is still much to be thankful for, and by working together, we continue to maintain and grow a loyal customer base that feels confident choosing Delta time and again for our safety, reliability and service.”