Major Airlines Cut 32,000 Jobs as Relief Expires

October 1, 2020

Back in March, airlines received $25 billion in relief so that workers could stay on the payroll as the coronavirus pandemic caused a massive disruption in world travel. But with that money now spent, major carriers had been hoping for another round of economic stimulus from the federal government as demand for travel remains low. Legislators have been unable to come to an agreement so far, however, leading American Airlines and United Airlines to announce that more than 32,000 employees would be laid off this week.

Both companies said that they would be able to bring back workers if a deal was made in the next few days. “We implore our elected leaders to reach a compromise, get a deal done now, and save jobs,” said United in a statement on Wednesday night. In a letter to American Airlines staff, CEO Doug Parker said that 19,000 jobs could be saved in the event of a new stimulus package, but he admitted that too much uncertainty clouds the issue at the moment. “I am extremely sorry we have reached this outcome. It is not what you deserve,” wrote Parker to his employees.

Demand for air travel remains 70 percent lower than it was at this point in 2019. Airlines usually earn much of their revenue during the busy holiday season, but it remains unclear how many people will be willing to travel home this year. With matters looking bleak for both air carriers and their workers, labor unions are picketing lawmakers’ offices and sending them waves of letters demanding relief now.

Questions:

  1. Why are American and United Airlines laying off more than 32,000 workers this week?
  2. Do you think airlines should receive immediate economic relief from the federal government? Why or why not?

Source: Alison Sider, “American Airlines, United to Cut 32,000 Jobs as Washington Debates Relief,” The Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2020.

10 Responses to Major Airlines Cut 32,000 Jobs as Relief Expires

  • 1. American and United Airlines are laying off more than 32,000 workers because they don’t have enough money to pay every single one of them.
    2. I think airlines should receive economic relief because 32,000 people is a lot of people without jobs. Those people need jobs to pay for their home and to have enough money to get food.

  • 1-Because of the pandemic and no one is travel as much as they use to and the income is low.
    2-yes so that they can be prepared when people start traveling again.

  • 1. Because they have spent all of their relief money that was given to them and since demand for travel is low and legislators have not came to an agreement it has cost many jobs.
    2.Yes I do they should receive immediate relief because they aren’t responsible for the pandemic and the economy cant run if no one has a job

  • 1.) They are being laid off because of all the money that they spent that they got around March, transportation was low and they had to ley off some people .
    2.) I think they shouldn’t because many airlines are up and working right now but when we were on lockdown/quarantine I can see why they would need it, but now airlines are making their own profit since people are traveling.

  • United airlines are laying off more then 32,000 workers because they need the money because of there economic situation. This is caused by the pandemic leading less people to go on flights which means less money for the airports meaning the have to discard some employees

    2..I Think Airports should receive economic help from the government because airports are a one way ticket to places internationally which is most helpful when trying to go far distances also airports now days are almost a necessity for those having to get somewhere fast

  • 1. The United Airlines are laying off more that 32,000 workers this week because the legislators have been unable to come to an agreement and they don’t have that much money to pay every single airline workers.
    2. Yes, airlines should receive immediate economic relief because now that flights airports are opened, there are some people travelling and it’s really dangerous/difficult travelling through this virus and maintaining social distancing on a plane. Some of them have families and bills to pay; it’s going to be hard for them if they don’t get paid.

  • 1. Because the coronavirus pandemic caused a massive disruption in world travel and people aren’t able to travel anywhere.
    2. Yes because like the passage said it isn’t fair to the workers who are just doing their jobs, to be fired.

  • 1) The 32,000 workers are being laid off because the Untied Airlines needs to regain the money lost. Due to COVID-19 their income become low because of the lack of flights being booked which gave the company an overload of employees.

    2) Personally I think that the airports should receive economic help from the government because this pandemic was unexpected and they shouldn’t take the blame for that. Apart from that, air traveling is quite a big deal for the people who are trying to get from one place to another at a fast rate.

  • 1. They laid off workers because they needed the relief money on things that needed to be fixed for
    traveling and they were struggling financially which led them to not being able to pay every single worker.
    2. Honestly I have to say yes but only if they use the relief money to pay their workers, because that’s
    not fair to them. That being said if they’re more responsible with the money then certainly yes.

  • Why are American and United Airlines laying off more than 32,000 workers this week?
    Because they do not have enough money to may all the workers.
    Do you think airlines should receive immediate economic relief from the federal government? Why or why not?
    Yes! 32,000 people is a lot of unemployed people! They need their jobs more than anything to live and buy food. They cant simply wait for the government to hand them a 1000 dollar check which would only cover maybe half of someone’s rent! What about the food? What about expenses?

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