American Airlines says it is overworked by 20,000 employees for the fall schedule

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American Airlines told staff Thursday that it has more than 20,000 workers it does not need for its reduced fall schedule as the carrier and its competitors face weak demand for air travel during the coronavirus pandemic.The Fort Worth-based carrier and other US airlines are urging employees to take buyouts or early retirement options to downsize before turning to involuntary measures like layoffs.

US carriers are prohibited from laying off or reducing the rates of pay of their personnel until September 30 under $ 25 billion in government payroll assistance to help alleviate the impact of the virus on their businesses.

“We currently plan to have 20-30% – or more than 20,000 – more team members on the payroll than we need to manage our calendar this fall,” said CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom in a staff note. “To be clear, this does not mean that 20,000 of our team members will be on leave in October, it just means that we still have to work to properly size our team for the airline we operate.” ”

American and its competitors have increased liquidity and cut costs, as demand remains a fraction of 2019 levels, even for the peak summer travel season.

American and four other airlines have signed deals for $ 25 billion in federal loans to deal with the crisis, the Treasury Department said on Thursday. American said it plans to finalize the loan in the third quarter.

At the depths of the demand crisis in April, American had about $ 11 million in cash receipts, which reached $ 358 million in May and more than $ 1 billion in June, officials said.

“While this improvement is encouraging, it is compared to an average of $ 4.2 billion per month over the same period in 2019, so we have a long way to go,” wrote Parker and Isom.

The carrier burned less than $ 35 million a day in late June, up from $ 100 million a day in April, they said.

Americans expect demand for international travel to remain muted next year. Earlier this week, he said his international long-haul calendar in the summer of 2021 would be down 25% from what he was offering for the 2019 season and that he would cut 19 routes.

The carrier also plans to reduce wide-body cabin crew on international and transcontinental routes and will reduce some of its flight attendant and scrap bases in the Raleigh-Durham area and at Saint-Louis.

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