updated 10/24/2004 5:54:42 PM ET 2004-10-24T21:54:42

Delta Air Lines Inc. and its pilots union recessed Sunday without reaching an agreement on pay cuts that are key to the carrier’s efforts to avoid bankruptcy.

The Atlanta-based airline has said it needs $1 billion in concessions from its pilots — roughly two-thirds of which would come from pay cuts — to avoid bankruptcy. The pilots have publicly offered up to $705 million in savings.

The pilots union made a new proposal to management in early October, but it has not said if the offer includes a higher amount of concessions. In a regulatory filing a week later, Delta said that to date the union’s “counterproposals have been for substantially less than $1 billion.”

The company also said the union is seeking a stock option program for pilots that involves “substantially more equity” than management’s proposal.

The company and pilots had been negotiating the last several days in south Florida. Union spokeswoman Karen Miller said the two sides will resume talks Monday in the Washington, D.C., area.

Delta, the nation’s third-largest carrier, said recently that it may have to file for bankruptcy even with the concessions it is seeking because of its heavy debt.

Delta has lost more than $6 billion and cut 16,000 jobs since early 2001. The airline plans to cut up to another 7,000 jobs in the next 18 months.

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