Coronavirus

United, American Airlines to furlough thousands after Congress fails to agree on pandemic relief package

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – American Airlines and United Airlines said they will begin furloughIing 32,000 employees on Thursday. Both of these airlines fly in and out of Indianapolis.

This news comes after lawmakers failed to agree on another pandemic relief package.

The coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, better known as the “Cares Act,” gave airlines $25 billion earlier this year to hold off on job cuts through September.

However, without another stimulus package from Congress, tens of thousands of airline employees will lose their jobs.

United Airlines officials said they’re considering about 12,000 cuts. American Airlines said it is planning to start furloughing 19,000 workers.

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“The last thing we want to do is furlough employees. That’s why we have been fighting so hard for them to come to agreement,” said Doug Parker, the CEO of American Airlines.

This is yet another blow to the leisure and travel-related businesses in Indiana that has taken the brunt of the economic burden from COVID-19.

According to Visit Indiana Tourism, as of June, hotels were running at 14% of normal demand in the state.

The study also said air travel essentially stopped in mid-April and as of June had only jumped back about a third of its typical volume.

Airline executives said they’ll keep paying their workers if Congress will approve an extra $25 Billion in grants to carriers.

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