Two Big Airlines Back Off Plans to Cut Jobs Without Pay

Since Sept. 11, more than 130,000 jobs in the airline industry have been cut. Delta Air Lines, the nation's No. 3 carrier, Wednesday joined the list, announcing it would cut 13,000 positions and reduce its flight schedule by 15 percent.

Leo Mullen, chief executive officer of the Atlanta, Ga.-based airline, said the company was already struggling with tough times, but it was the assaults that were the straws that broke the proverbial camel's back. "This is an extraordinarily difficult decision … that we certainly would not have been facing — to any degree — on Sept. 10," he explained.

Delta did not immediately disclose whether or not it will provide severance and other benefits to its affected workers. Delta has approximately 82,000 employees worldwide.

With the cuts, Delta joins other major U.S. air carriers with the exception of Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines, in cutting jobs and scaling back schedules. Similar layoffs have come in recent days from others including United, US Airways and regional airlines.

Non-U.S. airlines are feeling the effects as well. Air Canada plans to cut an additional 5,000 jobs to the 4,000 it eliminated in August. The airline is also grounding 84 planes and cutting its flights by 20 percent. Airplane makers are also feeling the crunch. The recent rash of groundings has forced Canadian plane manufacturer Bombardier to slice 3,800 jobs.

Overseas, British Airways has had to cut 7,000 jobs while its rival Virgin Atlantic will let go of 1,200 employees. Alitalia is cutting 2,500, while Belgian carrier Sabena is set to hand out 500 pink slips and reduce its staff by an additional 1,500 positions through early retirement. SwissAir said it is slashing 3,000 jobs, while Scandinavian Airlines is losing 1,100.

-- ABCNEWS' Ramona Schindelheim and ABC Radio contributed to this report.

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