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Three Airlines Offering Early Retirement, Preparing For Massive Layoffs
At least three major U.S. airline carriers are offering voluntary exit programs to avoid laying off more staff.
The decision to cut back comes amid the global health pandemic, which has decimated the travel industry and caused financial stress on airline companies.
Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines have announced said approximately 100,000 employees have already accepted voluntary leave packages.
Long-term employees who choose to retire early will receive a severance pay-out as well as health care and travel benefits, as reported in Simple Flying.
Delta said those who take up the early retirement offer will likely finish work on August 1, which would give the airline two months to make other crucial decisions.
If not enough people take up Delta’s offer, there could be a vast number of job cuts this October.
American said it would have to cut administration and management roles by 30%. This decision comes after an announcement by leaders that the company is looking to retire around 100 aircraft and therefore needs to make necessary cuts.
American plans to thin out office staff while retaining pilots and cabin crew as long as possible so that when the industry starts to show signs of recovery, the company will have the necessary staff to open up routes quickly.
American is in discussion with various pilots’ unions to talk about voluntary leave and retirement options for pilots because with fewer aircraft, they will need fewer pilots.
United CEO Scott Kirby said recently that they believe a “bounce-back is almost impossible.”
Kirby said that the airline was looking to survive and not thrive right now. United is in talks with unions to encourage more employees to take up voluntary leave options.