American Airlines announced they will furlough or layoff about 19,000 employees in October, as they struggle with lower passenger rates during the coronavirus pandemic. Flight attendants will bear the heaviest cuts, with 8,100 losing their jobs.
The airline originally warned that 25,000 flight attendants, pilots and frontline workers could be at risk of furloughs. Tuesday’s announcement comes after about 23,000 employees took early retirement or voluntary leave, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The furloughs come a week after American announced they would be cutting service to 15 markets “as a result of low demand and the expiration of the air service requirements associated with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.”
U.S. air travel has recovered slightly since April but remains down 70% from a year ago, and carriers say they need fewer workers.
In March, passenger airlines got $25 billion from the government to save jobs for six months, but that money and a ban on furloughs both expire Oct. 1.