American Airlines has announced plans to cut 19,000 workers by Oct. 1 to cope with falling demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airline industry has been hit particularly hard as travel restrictions and declining numbers of travelers continue. A prime example being European airline Ryanair, which announced staggering losses for Q1, forcing the airline to reduce operational costs by 85%.
In July, American Airlines told workers it may have to furlough up to 25,000 workers this Fall after already releasing 5,000 people from administrative and management positions. As part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package in March, airlines received $25 billion in government aid to cover payroll costs, allowing them to continue operations short-term.
The $25 billion is set to expire on Oct. 1, leaving American Airlines with few options but to downsize. Furloughing 25,000 workers would make the airline 30% smaller than it was in March.
Out of the 25,000, the majority of furloughs would be for pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and other personnel, notwithstanding an additional 1,500 employees in management and administrative positions.