With air traffic still completely refusing to believe in the recovery and re-normalization that stocks appear to be convinced is just around the corner, America's airlines are becoming more and more dependent on liquidity for survival and rather than face the market consequences of years of re-leveraging, they appear to be upping the rhetoric to pressure Washington into more bailouts.
Today's example comes from American Airlines which will confirmed today that it will cut 19,000 workers if federal payroll aid expires as scheduled on Oct. 1, capping a 30% workforce reduction since the coronavirus pandemic began to torpedo travel demand.
A Message from Doug Parker and Robert Isom
Dear fellow team members,
We have come to you many times throughout the pandemic, often with sobering updates on a world none of us could have imagined. Today is the hardest message we have had to share so far – the announcement of involuntary staffing reductions effective Oct. 1.
As you all know, the Payroll Support Program (PSP) of the CARES Act protected our team against involuntary separations through Sept. 30. It also ensured that we and other airlines continued to serve each of the markets we flew prior to the crisis. It was an incredibly effective piece of legislation. By providing airlines the funds to pay much of our team member salaries and benefits, it ensured the commercial airline industry kept flying in the face of very low demand for air travel and kept our country moving, with all markets continuing to receive safe and efficient commercial air service.