United Airlines Could Furlough Up to a Third of Its Pilots

By Anna Breuer on 30 July 2020
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United Airlines said Thursday that it may have to furlough more pilots than it had originally planned on, as demand in the travel sector continues to be flat amidst the coronavirus pandemic, with a full recovery now not expected before 2024.

The airline had originally notified 2,250 pilots of possible lay-offs, but it now believes it may need to lay off one-third of its pilots, roughly 3,900 people, in 2020 and 2021.

“We may need to furlough more pilots in 2020, and in 2021, than originally planned,” said Bryan Quigley, the airline’s vice president of flight operations, in a memorandum to employees that was shown to Frequent Business Traveler.

The airline is prohibited from making any involuntary layoffs until October 1, 2020, under the terms of a federal bailout of the airline industry.

Earlier in the month, United warned some 36,000 employees, approximately 45% of its customer-facing workforce, that their jobs might be in jeopardy.  The airline is encouraging employees to take early buyout packages if possible that will lower the number of individuals who ultimately get laid off.

Quigley said in the memo that additional federal aid or cost-cutting measures with unions could mitigate some of the furloughs.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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