United Airlines said it is preparing to furlough 16 370 workers on October 1 as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the airline industry.

Chicago-based United had over 90 000 employees before the pandemic brought the industry to a near standstill in March and had warned in July that 36 000 jobs were at risk of involuntary furloughs as demand remains weak.

Airlines received $25 billion in US government stimulus funds in March meant to cover payrolls and protect jobs through September, when the industry had hoped for a rebound.

US passenger airlines are still collectively losing more than $5 billion a month as 30% of planes remain parked. Passenger travel demand is down about 70% and, on average, planes that are flying are half-full.

United’s schedule for September is 63% smaller than a year ago.

Among different workgroups, its job cuts will affect around 2 850 pilots, 6 920 flight attendants, 2 010 mechanics and 1 400 management and administrative positions, among others.


Source: SABC News

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