Delta Air Lines sounded two alarms Thursday - in an indication of the deep struggle facing the entire airline industry.
America's biggest airline warned it could have 7,000 more pilots than needed in the fall, according to a memo to flight operations employees seen exclusively by Reuters.
That warning hints at a likely wave of layoffs since Delta has more than 14,000 pilots currently in its workforce. But Delta can't cut any staff until October 1st as part of the financial aid agreement it made with the Treasury.
The memo was sent out on the same day Delta announced that it would stop flying all Boeing 777 wide-body jets and would retire some other older high-maintenance planes in an effort to slow down its cash burn. Delta instead will turn to Boeing rival Airbus for more fuel and cost-efficient planes for long-haul flights. But those purchases will only come when ticket sales start to rebound.
That's not good news for Boeing - its shares were down Thursday.
Delta, considered one of the best run airlines in America, is looking for ways to ease a cash burn as travelers stay on the ground in droves.
American Airlines has also announced a large fleet retirement and United Airlines has told its pilots to brace for changes.
Recent data showed U.S. airline passenger numbers plunged in recent months - forcing airlines like Delta to cut back on flights.
And it's not clear when the flying public will return. Reuters has learned that some airlines will require face-masks at ticket-counters and plane boarding, but will not enforce the measure once the plane leaves the ground. That could leave some passengers wary of boarding a crowded plane.
Shares of Delta touched a 7-year low on Thursday and have slumped nearly 70 percent so far this year.