American warns 13,000 employees of furloughs as airlines prepare to lose federal aid next month

An airport worker gestures on the tarmac as an American Airlines Airbus 220 airplane is seen at gate at Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia on December 18, 2020.

Daniel Slim | AFP | Getty Images

American Airlines on Wednesday mentioned it can ship furlough notices this week to about 13,000 employees as a second spherical of federal payroll aid is ready to expire and journey demand stays in tatters.

Rival United Airlines final Friday despatched comparable furlough warnings to 14,000 employees members.

The newest $15 billion Congress authorised for U.S. carriers late final yr required airlines to recall the employees they furloughed within the fall and preserve payroll by way of March 31. It was the second spherical of Covid aid for the trade; Congress gave airlines $25 billion final March to hold them from reducing employees by way of the autumn.

Fresh from reporting report annual losses of $34 billion, U.S. airline CEOs final month warned they did not anticipate a robust rebound in air journey within the close to future.

Employers are legally required to give employees discover about attainable layoffs or short-term furloughs usually 60 days upfront. The notices don’t assure that recipients will in the end lose their jobs.

American’s CEO Doug Parker advised employees final week that the provider remains to be overstaffed for present demand projections and that there might be furloughs.

“I don’t want anybody to be surprised if the company issues WARN notices in the near future,” Parker mentioned in a city corridor with employees final week, audio of which was reviewed by CNBC. He mentioned the corporate will work with labor unions to cut back furloughs by way of voluntary measures.

Airline labor unions are actually searching for $15 billion extra in federal payroll help for the trade to hold jobs by way of Sept. 30.

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