American Airlines to cut 19,000 more jobs

American Airlines will cut another 19,000 jobs beginning October when government aid expires.

Alison Sider reported the news for the Wall Street Journal:

American Airlines Group Inc. AAL -2.23% said it would shed 19,000 workers Oct. 1, the first big wave of the tens of thousands of pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and other airline employees in jeopardy of losing their jobs when protections tied to federal aid to U.S. carriers expire this fall.

American’s cuts are short of the 25,000 potential job losses it warned were possible last month. But together with retirements and temporary leaves of absence, the reductions will make the carrier about 30% smaller than it was in March and are the clearest sign yet of the devastation coming for the airline industry as the summer travel season winds down and government funds run out.

Ted Reed from Forbes wrote:

American Airlines has become the first major airline to fully quantify the impact of the coronavirus crisis on its workforce, saying that 40,000 people could be gone this fall.

That means a 28% reduction from the March 1 employment level of 140,000.

Of the 40,000 departures, 19,000 will come in the form of involuntary furloughs or separations on Oct. 1, the day after the expiration of funding under the CARES Act that was approved by Congress in March.

Kyle Arnold from the Dallas Morning News noted:

The involuntary furloughs include 8,100 flight attendants and 1,600 pilots. Including these cuts, American Airlines has reduced its workforce by more than 40,000 and will have fewer than 100,000 workers in October. That’s a reduction of about 30% in the company’s entire workforce compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flight attendants, the largest unionized group at American, will be hit particularly hard. The company had 27,000 flight attendants before the pandemic, including those at the regional airlines. After the cuts, the company will have about 11,700 on the payroll for October.