The federation representing the American airlines estimated Thursday that the companies in the sector, strongly affected by the fall in sales of plane tickets since the start of the pandemic, would cut a total of 90,000 jobs between March and December.
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According to Airlines for America, the number of full-time equivalents linked to air passenger transport will drop from 460,000 in March to 370,000 at the end of December, ie nearly 20% of the workforce less. This would represent the lowest level since at least 1987.
As the United States faces a new explosion in the number of COVID-19 cases and authorities step up restriction measures, the number of passengers carried in the United States in recent weeks remained 65% below the same period last year.
To cope with the decline in their activity, airlines first resorted to voluntary departure or early retirement plans.
They had pledged in the spring not to fire anyone until September 30, in exchange for subsidies totaling $ 25 billion.
But for lack of an agreement between Democrats and Republicans on the extension of this financial aid, United Airlines and American Airlines also laid off 32,000 people in October.
Four small companies have also gone out of business in the United States, Airlines for America said Thursday, in a document listing the effects of the pandemic on the aviation sector: Compass Airlines, ExpressJet, RavnAir Group and Trans States Airlines.