American Airlines said on Wednesday it is sending 25,000 notices of potential furloughs to frontline workers and warned that demand for air travel is slowing again as COVID-19 cases increase and states re-establish quarantine restrictions.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires companies to provide 60 days’ notice of potential layoffs or furloughs.
In a memo to employees released on Wednesday, American said the notices are tied to the overstaffing it expects in October when US government payroll assistance expires.
American, with more than 1,30,000 employees in 2019, had already warned that furloughs would be hard to avoid as pandemic-hit revenue remains more sluggish than the airline had hoped.
Among different work groups, warnings are being sent to 2,500 pilots or about 18% of the total, nearly 10,000 flight attendants or 37% of the total, and 3,200 mechanics or 22% of the total.
Overall, American expects to be overstaffed by about 20,000 in the fall, but hopes to reduce the actual number of furloughs through enhanced leave and early-departure programs it has rolled out alongside unions, Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in the memo.