American Airlines begins furloughing employees in Philadelphia

The Fort Worth-based airline said Wednesday it would furlough more than 1,000 workers

American Airlines will begin furloughing employees in Philadelphia beginning in April, as the travel industry continues to suffer with less demand during the pandemic.

The Fort Worth-based airline said Wednesday it would furlough more than 1,000 workers, filing a Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) notice with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry to give employees 60 days’ notice, the Philadelphia Business Journal first reported.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said Wednesday it would furlough more than 1,000 workers. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The WARN letter said 1,032 Philadelphia-based employees will be furloughed beginning April 10, though the furloughs are said to be temporary. However, the notice said 28 employees will be laid off permanently beginning on April 1.

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AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP, INC. 21.98 -0.15 -0.68%

"Obviously, issuing these required WARN notices isn’t a step we want to take," CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a letter to employees last week. "Tens of thousands of our colleagues have faced extreme uncertainty about their job security over the past 12 months, and that’s on top of the emotional stress all of our team has faced during an incredibly difficult year.”

AMERICAN AIRLINES WARNS 13,000 EMPLOYEES OF POTENTIAL FURLOUGHS 

American furloughed 19,000 workers after the first round of government payroll support expired on Oct. 1, however, the company recalled them in December, after an additional $15 billion from Congress was approved. The new round of federal aid mandates airlines keep recalled employees on the payroll through March 31.

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American estimates it will fly at least 45 percent less in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2019, and based on the current demand outlook, will not fly all of its aircrafts this summer, as originally planned. The carrier also announced last week it would open up a long-term voluntary leave of absence program for its employees in another effort to cut costs.