In July, the airline said it could avoid furloughs if enough employees took voluntary early separation packages
Delta Air Lines now says one in five workers have voluntarily left the company as it continues to be clobbered by the coronavirus pandemic.
"The departure of 20 percent of our workforce was a difficult but necessary step towards Delta's transformation into a smaller, more nimble airline," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a new memo to employees, reports the CNN.
In July, the airline said it could avoid furloughs if enough employees took voluntary early separation packages.
Restrictions on a federal bailout have kept airlines from shedding employees until Oct. 1.
Other major airlines, such as American and United, have sent notices of possible furloughs to thousands of workers.
Delta's Bastian says the airline was burning $27 million in cash each day in June.
"We can't count on a vaccine being widely available in the near future," said Bastian. "With this in mind, we continue to plan for a long and somewhat choppy recovery."