The ongoing U.S. travel crisis is inflicting thousands of job reductions as the aviation industry waits for passengers to come back to the skies but braces for years of lower demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. airlines are slashing millions of flights, cutting schedules by 80% or more through at least June, and parking thousands of aircraft as demand for tickets has contracted by about 95%. Airlines are requiring facial coverings and implementing new cleaning procedures to attempt to convince passengers it’s safe to fly again, but also fear the weakened economy could further drag down demand.
Late Friday, Spirit AeroSystems stated that in response to lower manufacturing rates from Boeing and Airbus, it might layoff 1,450 workers in Kansas.
Delta Air Lines mentioned last week it doesn’t expect air travel to get better for two or three years. More than 37,000 Delta staff have volunteered to take unpaid leave lasting from one month to a year.
Labor union SEIU stated Thursday at least 13,000 union members at airports had been laid off, and another 1,000 layoffs are planned. The U.S. Treasury has not yet rolled out $3 billion in payroll assistance cash subsidies approved by Congress for airport contractors such as baggage handlers and airplane caterers.
In April, U.S. airlines collectively had been awarded $25 billion in Treasury cash subsidies, but as a condition must not fire employees or reduce through September 30.