CHICAGO (Reuters) – American Airlines (AAL.O) said on Tuesday its workforce will shrink by 40,000, including 19,000 involuntary cuts, in October as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh on air travel, unless the government extends aid for airline employee payrolls.
Airlines received $25 billion in U.S. government stimulus funds in March meant to cover payrolls and protect jobs through September. As the money runs out without a travel recovery in sight, airlines and unions have lobbied Washington for another $25 billion, but talks have stalled.
Including voluntary exits and leaves as well as forced reductions, American’s workforce will shrink to around 100,000 in October from the 140,000 it employed in March.
“In short, American’s team will have at least 40,000 fewer people working Oct. 1 than we had when we entered this pandemic,” Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a memo to employees that was reviewed by Reuters.