ATLANTA, June 7, 2006 - Delta Air Lines CEO Gerald Grinstein met with senators and representatives on Capitol Hill today to fight for pension reform legislation that would help preserve already accrued benefits for Delta’s more than 91,000 ground and flight attendant employees and retirees. He thanked key leaders in the legislative effort for their support and encouraged them to pass pension reform with the Senate airline provision as quickly as possible.
“We strongly support the work of Congress to pass pension reform legislation,” said Grinstein. “Time is of the essence. Delta believes it is in everyone’s interest to provide this opportunity to preserve this pension plan for more than 91,000 ground and flight attendant employees and retirees, but Congress must act quickly,” he said. “As part of Delta’s work to transform our airline, we’ll need to make a decision about our ability to continue to maintain this retirement plan in the very near future. If Congress passes the airline funding provision contained in the Senate pension reform legislation very soon, it will give us a fighting chance to preserve the benefits accrued under the plan covering these employees.”
Since Memorial Day weekend, more than 17,000 e-mails have been sent and phone calls made by Delta employees and retirees to Congress to express their support of swift action on pension reform legislation. “The pension issue is of utmost importance to Delta people, and they are joining the company as strong advocates for meaningful reform,” said Delta’s chief executive.
Bills have been passed by both houses; now, a conference committee is working on final legislation. The airline provision would enable Delta and other airlines with similar plans to extend required funding payments for defined benefit plans over a longer period of time. Under current law, Delta could not afford the pension funding requirements for this defined benefit plan over the next few years. Pension reform legislation being considered by Congress would give Delta a greater chance to preserve the Delta Retirement Plan for its ground employees and flight attendants.
Delta Air Lines (Other OTC: DALRQ) is one of the world’s fastest growing international carriers with more than 50 new international routes added in the last year. Delta offers flights to 460 destinations in 97 countries on Delta, Delta Shuttle, the Delta Connection carriers and its worldwide partners. As the world’s leading carrier between the United States and Europe, Delta offers customers more weekly flights between the United States and destinations across Europe, India and Israel than any other global airline, including service on 11 new trans-Atlantic routes launched since March. Delta also is a major carrier to Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbean, with nearly 40 new routes announced in the last year. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 14,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.