Furloughs, layoffs likely if airlines don’t receive more aid by October: Report

*Delta plans to lay off 1,941 pilots, American Airlines 19,000 employees October ─Report

*Thousands of competing airline workers may soon be out of jobs

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Though several commercial airlines struggle to minimise the negative impacts of the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic on their business worldwide, if the US Congress can’t come through with an extension of the Paycheck Protection Programme soon, tens of thousands of airline employees could see themselves without a job come October 1, 2020.

Agency report indicates that the first flare went up Tuesday, August 25 at the headquarters of American Airlines when the company announced that it would cut 19,000 employees from its payroll when the Federal aid that protected those jobs expires.

The 19,000 American employees include 17,500 flight attendants, pilots, and mechanics, plus 1,500 administration and management jobs.

All told ─ when combined with pink slips American handed out earlier and the 39,000 employees who opted for voluntary leave or early retirement ─ American’s total workforce is about 41 percent smaller than the total workforce it had at the onset of the pandemic

Doug Parker, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), American Airlines, along Robert Isom, company’s President, in a note to staff announcing the cuts said: “We have come to you many times throughout the pandemic, often with sobering updates on a world none of us could have imagined.”

It was gathered that other airlines are expected to follow suit, as American isn’t the only airline trying to keep itself afloat.

Likewise, Delta Airlines Monday, August 24 had announced that it would have to furlough 1,941 pilots if it can’t get some relief from its labour union by October.

It is recalled that in June, the United Airlines did its best to get ahead of the situation by coming to terms with the pilots union over early retirements and voluntary furloughs.

Southwest — which has enough money in the bank to survive the pandemic for at least two years — said it doesn’t foresee cutting jobs in 2020 because a fourth of its workers have signed up for either a buyout package or voluntary leave.

However, as the $25 billion in payroll support the CARES Act provided US airlines evaporates on October 1, there’s some hope that there could be an extension of that support, a report said.

It noted that a couple of weeks ago, 16 Republican Senators wrote a letter urging the Congress to consider a “clean extension” of the payroll support for airline employees who were included in the CARES package.

There are reports that the rallying cry has also received support from some Democrats as well.

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