Parrack estimated that Delta would save $1.6 billion in cash outlays over four years if the pilots' pension plan is taken over by the PBGC, and would boost its financial results in accounting terms by more than $400 million during the same period.
He said Delta stopped contributing to the underfunded pension trust after filing for bankruptcy six months ago, skipping a $146 million contribution to the plan last October and two contributions since.
Hicks, the Delta spokesman, said halting contributions was "the least significant reason" for the pension plan's underfunding. He said a bigger impact came from the pension plan's earlier investment losses, pilot retirements and changes in interest rates that caused the plan's liabilities to grow.
Separately Monday, Delta asked a bankruptcy judge to allow the carrier to void roughly 93 million stock options held by 70,000 current and former employees and directors. The company said the options, if exercised, would provide little or no real value, making the $305,000 a year it costs the airline to maintain, account for and administer the benefit an unnecessary burden on Delta.
Russell Grantham writes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. E-mail: rgrantham AT ajc.com. The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Delta Air Lines' pilots will begin presenting their case to arbitrators today in hopes of halting the carrier's efforts to impose more than $300 million in pay cuts and other concessions.
The deep pay cuts pilots at bankrupt Delta Air Lines have accepted may be the least of their worries: their retirement benefits are in jeopardy as well.
A demand by Delta Air Lines for more than $300 million in contract concessions probably wouldn't be ratified even if negotiators agreed to it, a pilots union official said.
Delta Air Lines Inc.'s quest for another round of wage cuts from its pilots has hit some turbulence in an unlikely place - the bankruptcy court.