US airlines cancel layoff notices after new government’s aid package

*The United States Government has passed a fresh COVID-19 relief package that grants a further $14 billion to support major US airlines, as the previous government loans protecting jobs are expected to expire March 31

*Thousands of frontline workers will now receive paycheques and healthcare through September, which is especially ─Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

It is great relief to enhance industrial harmony in the aviation industry after the initial furlough notices to several thousands of staff in the country, as both United Airlines and American Airlines have confirmed in statements that the new government aid package would prevent the need to furlough staff from April 2021.

ConsumerConnect reports the United States Government passed a COVID-19 relief package that grants a further $14 billion to support major US airlines.

Industry sources indicated that the previous government loans which protected jobs were set to expire March 31, 2021.

Now, subsequent to a new relief aid package is giving hope for about 75, 000 employees, as several thousands of airline employees have been waiting for April 1st, fearing they may be furloughed as previously notified, reports SimplyFlying.

Hitherto, the government aid package announced in 2020 came with the condition that those accepting the loans must use the money to guarantee staff jobs until March 31 this year.

As a result, most of the major airlines sent out warning letters to staff stating that, come April 1st, mass-furloughs were a possibility.

However, as the fateful day approaches, employees at both United and American Airlines can now breathe a little easier.

It was gathered both airlines in statements Thursday, March 11 confirmed that the new government aid package passed through Congress Wednesday, meant furloughs would not happen any longer.

The government aid package is worth a massive $1.9 trillion with $14 million set aside for airlines, including the Payroll Support Programme (PSP), to allow airlines to continue to pay employees.

Scott Kirby, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of United, said: “Thousands of frontline workers will now receive paychecks and healthcare through September, which is especially critical while vaccine distribution continues to ramp up.”

United had sent warnings to around 14,000 workers.

In a similar joint statement, Doug Parker, CEO of American, and Robert Isom, President of American, said: “For our 13,000 colleagues who received Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices last month, those are happily cancelled – you can tear them up!”

Both airlines also placed a strong focus on the continued effort at vaccinating as many Americans as possible.

American recently offered an incentive package to encourage American Airlines employees to get vaccinated, and United’s statement also encourages workers to get vaccinated at Chicago O’Hare airport.

However, it is noted that the new government support package runs until September 31, 2021, giving airlines a few months to position for recovery.

With vaccine roll-outs continue across the US and globally, the summer months are looking promising for the much troubled airlines.

The focus on vaccines in both statements shows that US airlines are placing a lot of hope that vaccines will allow airlines to recover.

Although there haven’t yet been any announcements from other US airlines, similar statements will likely be released soon, according to report.

The new loans have come with old conditions, so any airline that accepts the loan cannot furlough staff until October.

Besides United and American, Southwest also had sent WARN notices to almost 7,000 employees, and Delta Air Lines confirmed 2,500 pilots were at risk.

In all, US airlines had placed over 75,000 people at risk of furlough. By the end of September, airlines will hopefully have increased revenues enough to retain staff.

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