American Airlines set to launch massive wave of layoffs

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American Airlines, affected by the fall in air traffic, warned on Wednesday that it could lay off up to 13,000 employees if the situation did not improve and if the government aid in place until April 1 was not not prolonged.

“We will work with union leaders to do all we can to mitigate the impact on employment as much as possible,” company executives said in a letter to employees consulted by Agence France Presse (AFP ).

Read also: American Airlines could lay off up to 25,000 employees

But the situation is complicated for the airline industry. “The vaccine is not being distributed as quickly as we thought, and new restrictions on international travel that require customers to test negative for Covid-19 have reduced demand,” wrote Doug Parker in the missive, the CEO of the company, and Robert Isom, the director of operations.

Several American companies in the same situation

“Based on the current demand outlook, we will not be flying all of our planes as planned this summer.” So the group will begin to send dismissal notifications to 13,000 employees on Friday. In a related vein, United Airlines sent notifications to 14,000 employees last Friday.

This will not necessarily translate into so many layoffs: United Airlines warned 36,000 employees in July that they could be fired but finally separated from only 13,000 of them in October, when government aid had expired. .

Also read: United Airlines lost $ 7.1 billion in 2020

The company subsequently offered to hire them again in December, when new measures to support employment in the airline sector were adopted. These expire on April 1.

Pending government aid

In their letter to employees on Wednesday, American Airlines executives insist that they are putting pressure on American parliamentarians, alongside the unions, for an extension of this aid.

“The country’s leaders understand the critical role airline workers play in keeping people on the move. They showed their support last year and we will encourage them to do the same again as the pandemic continues around the world, ”they write.

The article of April 15, 2020: A rescue plan for American airlines

New President Joe Biden is proposing a $ 1.9 trillion bailout for the US economy, currently under discussion in Congress.

At the same time, American Airlines will open new plans for voluntary departures and unpaid leave in the United States for employees other than pilots.