American Airlines to Cut 19,000 Jobs as Travel Declines

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Reuters

American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, announced it would cut 19,000 jobs in October when a government wage support program used by airlines during the pandemic ends.

The cuts, in addition to departures and voluntary departures, will leave its workforce 30% smaller than it was in March.

Other carriers have warned of equally large cuts amid slowing air travel.

United said last month that as many as 36,000 jobs were at risk.

German Lufthansa has warned it could cut 22,000 jobs, while British Airways is cutting 12,000 jobs.

The cuts come amid warnings that the impact of the pandemic will cause air losses of more than $ 84 billion (£ 64 billion) globally this year.

In the United States, the terms of a $ 25 billion (£ 19 billion) government bailout prevented airlines from carrying out significant job cuts until September 30. As airlines have called for additional support, talks in Washington over an aid package collapsed this month without a deal.

American had received $ 5.8 billion from the payroll assistance program. It recently announced its intention to suspend service to 15 small airports in the United States due to weak travel demand.

“We need to prepare for the possibility that the leaders of our country will not be able to find a way to further support the aviation professionals and the service we provide, especially to small communities,” said the director. General Doug Parker and President Robert Isom in a message to staff. .

In the letter, executives said they expected American to fly at around 50% of its capacity in the last three months of 2020. International flights are expected to be reduced to 25% of 2019 levels.

American said it expected fewer than 100,000 people to work in October, up from 140,000 in early March.

In addition to the 19,000 cutbacks, approximately 12,500 people have voluntarily left the airline since March. 11,000 more will be on voluntary leave in October.

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