On Thursday (Aug. 28), United Airlines said that it will furlough up to 2,850 pilots this fall, as USA Today reports, unless the federal government steps in and provides more relief to assist airlines to cover their labor costs during the pandemic.
This move would make United’s layoffs higher than any major U.S. airline with Delta planning to layoff 1,941 pilots and American furloughing 1,600 employees.
The airline, which is based in Chicago, told pilots that furlough notices will be sent out by U.S. mail within the next few days. The cuts will take effect between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30.
$25 billion is what the airlines and their labor unions are currently lobbying for to help the companies pay their payroll costs for the next six months, through next March.
However, the discussion between the White House and congressional Democrats over a larger virus-relief measure has halted. Washington put $50 billion in grants and loans for passenger airlines aside, earlier this year, including $25 billion to keep employees on the payroll through September.
However, travel hasn’t resumed as quickly as hoped, as the U.S. has failed to control the COVID-19 outbreak. Travel restrictions remain in place to prevent further spread of the virus.
Ten billion dollars was lost between Southwest, United, American, and Delta, in the second quarter.