An airline employee walks past empty American Airlines check-in terminals at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia on May 12, 2020.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | Getty Images
American Airlines on Thursday will advance plans for 19,000 workers on leave after talks on a national coronavirus relief package in Washington fail. However, the airline is poised to reverse course if a deal is reached, said its CEO Doug Parker.
The $ 25 billion federal payroll support terms, passed in March for the ailing sector, prohibit airlines from shedding jobs until October 1
Airlines have been pushing lawmakers for an additional $ 25 billion in recent months, a proposal that was backed by both parties. Talks about a comprehensive coronavirus package that would include another round of airline aid failed on Wednesday, however, opening the door to more than 30,000 job cuts as of Thursday, the lion’s share at American and United Airlines.
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to reach an agreement on Wednesday, talks are set to continue.
Parker said in a staff note that he spoke to Mnuchin late Wednesday and told him that Americans would “reverse” vacation days and call all workers back if further talks lead to a deal. It wasn’t immediately clear how long this offer would last.
“I am very sorry we achieved this result,” wrote Parker. “It’s not what you all deserve. It is a privilege to stand up for the hardworking aviation professionals at American and across the industry, and you have my assurance that we will continue to do so in days to come.”