REUTERS: American Airlines staff should brace for another round of furlough warnings because the airline expects to stay overstaffed on Apr 1, when US aid for industry staff expires, Chief Executive Doug Parker stated.
American is amongst US airways that received cash from a US$15 billion payroll help package in December to protect staff’ jobs and salaries through March, when the industry had hoped that pandemic-hit demand would have recovered with vaccine rollouts.
“What hasn’t happen is what we would hoped would happen, that we’d get to Apr 1 and everybody we’ve we’re going to need them within the July schedule,” Parker stated throughout a Jan 28 worker town hall meeting, according to a recording reviewed by Reuters.
An American spokesman confirmed the veracity of the recording.
US aviation unions are urging Congress to extend a 3rd round of payroll help, something Parker stated he would help.
“That is a a lot better solution than having people furloughed again when we know that this (COVID-19) is months away from being eradicated,” he stated during the town hall.
American furloughed 19,000 staff when a first round of government payroll support expired on Oct 1 however recalled them in December. Parker stated he hoped fewer staff can be impacted this time.
Final week, United Airlines stated it had dispatched furlough warnings to 14,000 workers.
US airways, which posted record annual losses, hope vaccines will fuel a recovery however distribution has been gradual and COVID-19 variants are triggering drastic travel curbs by some nations.
“I hate that we’re in that position however we’re and we will not ignore it so we’ve to start out figuring out what to do about it,” he stated.
Parker stated new COVID-19 testing necessities for individuals getting into the US from overseas had additional suppressed international travel demand.
Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have averted layoffs however have slimmed their workforce through voluntary programs.