United Airlines Announces Furloughs Coming in October

United Airlines announced Thursday it plans to furlough the highest number of pilots in the company’s history if the United States Government doesn’t provide further aid to carriers.

According to Reuters.com, United received a portion of the $25 billion in loans and grants initially issued by the U.S. government, but without further funding, the airline would need to cut 2,850 pilot jobs (21 percent of its workforce) this year.

The stipulations attached to the original aid from the government expires at the end of September and the airline said it would need to furlough pilots between October 1 and November 30 to alleviate the financial burden caused by the lack of demand.

While Congress has not been able to agree on terms of a new coronavirus assistance package, carriers have started early retirement or voluntary departure deals to pilots and other employees to offset losses caused by the viral pandemic.

“While other airlines have chosen to reduce manpower through voluntary means, it is tragic that United has limited those options for our pilots and instead has chosen to furlough more pilots than ever before in our history,” the union representing United’s 13,000 pilots said in a statement.

In total, United revealed an estimated 36,000 jobs are on the line across the company.

American Airlines announced Monday in a letter to employees that it would cut 19,000 jobs on October 1, when the parameters of the CARES Act are removed. The carrier received $5.8 billion from the CARES Act issued by the federal government in March.

Delta Air Lines also revealed Monday it would furlough 1,941 pilots in October unless it can reach a cost-cutting agreement with the employees’ labor union.

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