American Airlines has sent federally required notices of potential layoffs. The airline has sent a warning to nearly 13,000 employees that their jobs are potentially at risk. Things can only get better if the industry receives a third stimulus package that includes government grants and loans. In March 2020, after Congress approved the CARES Act, the airlines were given $25 billion and then $15 billion in December after the passage of the second bill.
Too many jobs and not enough workers
Both the relief bills came with the guidelines that airlines were not to furlough any employees till September 30, 2020, with the first bill and till March 30, 2021, with the second bill. Once the second bill expires, employees at the airline could be at risk. American airlines laid off 32,000 workers in October but rehired a majority of them when the second relief bill was passed. However, as travel restrictions continued with the pandemic at its peak, the airline found out that it did not have enough jobs.
“We are nearly five weeks into 2021, and unfortunately, we find ourselves in a situation similar to much of 2020,” Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a memo to employees. “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.”