CHICAGO — United Airlines and American Airlines will move forward with furloughing thousands of employees as the CARES Act expires.
In a letter to employees Wednesday, American Airlines said it will begin the process of furloughing 19,000 employees as the Payroll Support Program expired September 30.
American CEO Doug Parker said he spoke personally with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who told him a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package that would extend the PSP is possible within the coming days.
“Please keep contacting your elected officials about the importance of reaching an agreement,” Parker wrote.
United Airlines also said it will involuntarily furlough more than 13,000 employees beginning Thursday.
The carrier previously notified 36,000 employees they faced potential job cuts, but was able to reduce that number to 16,000 through various voluntary buyout and early retirement programs. The carrier said since then, it was able to further reduce the total number of furloughs by working with union partners, introducing new voluntary options and proposing creative solutions that would save jobs.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, United had just under 100,000 employees.
WLS-TV and ABC News contributed to this report.
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