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United Airlines reaches deal with pilots, avoids furloughs

A United Airlines plane prepares to take off at the Benito Juarez International airport in Mexico City, on March 20, 2020. (Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images)

(AP) — Pilots at United Airlines have voted to approve a deal that will avoid furloughs at one of the nation’s biggest carriers.

United was set to furlough about 2,850 pilots later this week and more next year barring a recovery in travel, which has been devastated by the virus pandemic.

The Air Line Pilots Association said Monday that the deal will allow United to spread a reduced amount of flying across the airline’s 13,000 pilots to save jobs at least until next June.

The deal comes as United, American and some smaller airlines prepare to shed thousands of workers on Thursday, when $25 billion in federal pandemic-relief aid and a related prohibition on furloughs expires.