US carrier Delta Air Lines is reportedly considering informing more than 2,500 pilots about potential furloughs.

In a company memo seen by CNBC, Delta intends to send Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) notices as soon as this week.

Meanwhile, the carrier has entered an agreement with the labour union that represents more than 14,000 pilots for an early retirement option.

Delta flight operations senior vice-president John Laughter was quoted by CNBC as saying: “As we’ve communicated previously, early retirements alone likely won’t be enough to avoid pilot furloughs altogether.”

Laughter added: “With that in mind and given that we won’t know the results of the early-out for a few weeks, we must continue to move ahead to address pilot overstaffing.

“In an effort to best prepare our pilots, we will send notices to 2,558 pilots as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the ‘WARN Act’) next week to let them know of a possible furlough.”

According to the memo, as many as 7,900 pilots would be eligible for the voluntary early retirement programme.

Selected pilots will receive pay for 58 hours a month until they reach 65 years of age, or for 36 months. CNBC reported that it will also provide up to two-year health insurance premiums cover and one-year travel benefits, citing the labour union.

Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines retired its MD-88, also known as Mad Dog, and MD-90 aircraft, from US fleet due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

It is also considering retiring its fleet of Boeing 777s as part of the cost reduction measures amid the pandemic.