Southwest Airlines Calls for Staff to Take 10% Pay Cuts to Avoid Furloughs in 2021

By Paul Riegler on 5 October 2020
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Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said Monday that, in order to avoid any furloughs amidst the coronavirus pandemic, all employees will need to take 10% pay cuts in 2021.

The Dallas-based airline hasn’t furloughed or laid off any workers during the crisis.  It said the 10% reduction for non-union employees will go into effect January 1.

Kelly said he wants union members to make a similar sacrifice.

“We would have to wipe out a large swath of salaries, wages, and benefits to match the low traffic levels to have any hope of breaking even absent substantial improvement in our business,” he said in a video message to employees.  He also said that concessions would not be required if Congress and the Trump Administration come through with payroll support aid.

The CEO of the third largest airline in the United States said that he would not take any salary through the end of next year and indicated that he didn’t see travel returning to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon.

“Our quarterly losses could be in the billions until vaccines are available, distributed, and effectively kill the pandemic,” Kelly said in the video message. “At best, that’s looking like late next year.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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