American Airlines on Wednesday warned some 13,000 U.S. employees of potential furlough in the next few weeks as the pandemic continues to suppress travel demand and the government’s Payroll Support Program (PSP) runs out.
“We are nearly five weeks into 2021, and unfortunately, we find ourselves in a situation similar to much of 2020,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom wrote in a memo to employees.
American will be flying at least 45% less in the first quarter compared to what they flew in the first quarter of 2019 and based on the current outlook the airline won’t fly all of its aircraft in the summer as planned.
“The vaccine is not being distributed as quickly as any of us believed, and new restrictions on international travel that require customers to have a negative COVID-19 test have dampened demand,” they said.
American CEO also stated that they would have more team members than the schedule requires after federal payroll support expires April 1.
American’s potential furloughs include 1,850 pilots, 4,245 flight attendants, 3,145 fleet service staff,100 dispatch staff and 40 instructors.
“On Friday, we will begin issuing Worker Adjustment, and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices covering approximately 13,000 team members. As a reminder, WARN notices may be required by law in advance of potential furloughs in certain locations, but it’s important to note that these notices do not necessarily equate to furloughs.”