United Airlines’ employees face involuntary furlough
United Airlines on Wednesday said 16,000 of its employees face an involuntary furlough as early as next month, as the aviation industry continues to grapple with weak demand due to the coronavirus outbreak. In a statement, United called the measure a "heart-wrenching" last resort.
"The pandemic has drawn us in deeper and lasted longer than almost any expert predicted, and in an environment where travel demand is so depressed, United cannot continue with staffing levels that significantly exceed the schedule we fly," the airline said.
"Sadly, we don’t expect demand to return to anything resembling normal until there is a widely available treatment or vaccine," the statement continued. The announcement comes as a federal aid package for airlines, which prohibits job and pay cuts, is due to expire at the end of September.