Business

American Airlines CEO sees 10% to 20% cent extra staff in July 2021, ‘hard’ to avoid furloughs

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CHICAGO: American Airlines expects to have between 10 per cent and 20 per cent more workers than needed in July 2021, Chief Executive Doug Parker told employees at a town hall this week, and said that avoiding furloughs will be difficult.

Weathering a sharp hit to business due to the coronavirus pandemic, American and other US airlines have warned of furloughs in October, which is when government payroll aid for airlines expires, but said they were hoping to avoid them.

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"It's going to be even harder than I thought," Parker said at an employee town hall on Wednesday, adding that "revenue is not coming back as fast as we'd like."

A video recording of the town hall, which showed Parker wearing a protective face mask, was reviewed by Reuters.

As of the end of last year, American had 133,700 employees, more than any other U.S. airline.

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In October, American expects to have between 20 per cent and 30 per cent more workers than needed, Parker said, while adding that furlough decisions could revolve more around the July 2021 forecast of 10 per cent to 20 per cent excess workers, with potentially less pain for pilots than other employees such as flight attendants.

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"It really makes zero sense to go furlough a pilot in October if you're going to need that pilot again in July," Parker said, noting the costly training needed to bring a pilot back from a furlough.

American's management hasRead More – Source