Feb 04, 2021 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- American Airlines /zigman2/quotes/209207041/composite AAL -0.45% on Wednesday said it will send furlough notices this week to about 13,000 employees as a second round of federal payroll aid is set to expire next month and travel demand remains in tatters.
"The vaccine is not being distributed as quickly as any of us believed, and new restrictions on international travel that require customers to have a negative COVID-19 test have dampened demand," American's CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom wrote in notes to staff.
Rival United Airlines /zigman2/quotes/205037281/composite UAL -0.45% last Friday sent similar furlough warnings to 14,000 staff members.
The latest $15 billion Congress approved for U.S. carriers late last year required airlines to recall the employees they furloughed in the fall and maintain payroll through March 31. It was the second round of COVID aid for the industry; Congress gave airlines $25 billion last March to keep them from cutting employees through the fall.
Airline labor unions are now seeking $15 billion more in federal payroll support for the industry to keep jobs through Sept. 30 and American's Parker and Isom said they back another round of aid.
The furlough notices will go to more than 4,000 flight attendants, in excess of 3,000 fleet service workers, nearly 2,000 pilots, more than 1,400 maintenance workers, more than 1,200 employees in passenger service, 100 dispatchers and 40 instructors.
AAL shares shrank 17 cents, or nearly 1%, to $17.43.
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