Delta says 35,000 workers taking up voluntary unpaid leaves, still seeking more

FILE PHOTO: Delta Air Lines passenger planes are seen parked due to flight reductions made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc DAL.N Chief Executive Ed Bastian said on Thursday that nearly 35,000 workers had volunteered so far for voluntary unpaid leaves of absence the company is offering in an attempt to stem costs because of the coronavirus crisis.

In a memo to employees, Bastian said the company was enhancing the benefits provided to employees while on leave and offering new longer-term leaves of up to 12 months as it continues to seek more volunteers.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Sandra Maler