US airlines lay off thousands of workers as federal aid ends

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Reuters

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Air travel has been devastated by falling demand during the pandemic


U.S. airlines have started laying off thousands of workers after efforts to negotiate a new economic relief plan in Congress failed.

American Airlines claims to have lost 19,000 workers and United Airlines 13,000.

Carriers – hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic – say they are ready to reverse decisions if more funding is found.

The airlines have received billions of dollars from the federal government.

Congress accepted aid agreed to earlier in the year under the Coronavirus Help, Relief and Economic Security Act [Cares Act]. It was conditional that the carriers did not lay off workers until October 1.

Airlines around the world have been hit by a massive drop in demand caused by the pandemic.

In a letter to staff announcing the layoffs, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said, “I am extremely sorry that we have achieved this result. It’s not what you all deserve. ”

United Airlines, in a message to its employees on Wednesday, said it implored “our elected leaders to come to a compromise, to make a deal now and to save jobs.”


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