CHICAGO (Reuters) – United Airlines UAL.O is preparing for the biggest pilot furloughs of its history after announcing on Thursday the need to cut 2,850 pilot jobs this year, or about 21% of the total, without further U.S. government aid.
Airlines, reeling from the devastating impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on air travel, have asked the U.S. government for another $25 billion to cover employee payroll through March.
The first tranche, which banned any job cuts until Oct. 1, expires at the end of September, but talks in Washington have stalled as Congress has struggled to reach agreement on a broader coronavirus assistance package.
United’s planned cuts, released in a memo to employees and shared with the media, would run between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30. They are significantly higher than the 1,900 announced earlier this week by Delta Air Lines DAL.N and 1,600 by American Airlines AAL.O.