Without the assistance of federal aid, American Airlines will be forced to cut 19,000 jobs from its payroll by October 1. In January 2020, the world’s largest airline had 133,700 employees, but is now forced to reduce that number by a minimum of 40,000. Out of that total, 11,000 have offered to voluntarily furlough by October, while 12,500 have taken buyout or early retirement options. Even with those staff reductions, American is still being forced to involuntarily cut 19,000 jobs unless Congress can agree on a federal aid extension of the March CARES Act before the September 30 expiration. As of Tuesday, the company had sent notices to 17,500 of the 19,000 employees set to be cut.
The legislation was implemented to offset the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on U.S. airline carriers. Terms outlined $50 billion in relief, forbidding job cuts – whether temporary or permanent. The problem is, there has been no updated legislation and at the time it was enacted, the thinking was the virus outbreak would be well under control by September and travel would return to normal numbers. American’s current operational plans for the fourth quarter are less than 50% domestic and 25% international of 2019 flight levels.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.