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American Airlines, the world’s biggest carrier by passenger miles, announced plans to cut about 5,100 employees from its management and support staffs.
“We will be a smaller airline with fewer flights,” said Elise Eberwein, American’s vice president for people and global engagement.
Delta, the second biggest carrier, is offering buyout and early retirement incentives to its workforce of 91,000.
Delta has brought work in-house that had been done by contractors, giving more workers more to do, but “ultimately we will have a workforce commensurate with the demand for flying,” Ed Bastain, Delta’s CEO, wrote in a letter to employees.
About 44 percent of Delta’s workers already have taken unpaid leaves; about 29 percent of American’s employees have done the same or retired early.
Both carriers will keep employees on the payroll through September, as required by their federal bailout agreements, but will begin notifying workers next month that they will be let go this fall.
Delta received $5.4 billion in federal aid. American took $5.8 billion and is now negotiating with the U.S. treasury for an additional $4.75 billion.
American, which carried more debt than any other U.S. airline before the shutdown, has been tagged by analysts as a candidate for bankruptcy. However, “bankruptcy is failure and I’m not going to do that,” vowed Douglas Parker, American’s CEO.
American is flying 20 percent of its pre-pandemic flights but has reported increasing demand and a 56-percent occupancy rate over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
TREND FORECAST: Airline travel will not return to pre-shutdown levels until at least 2023. And with all of the new travel related, enjoyment-sapping restrictions being made up by government officials across the globe, plus the loss of jobs… tourism/hospitality sectors, mom and pop, and industry giants will go out of business.
Boeing Cuts 16,000 Jobs
Aircraft maker Boeing has laid off 6,770 people as part of its plan to trim its 160,000-person workforce by 10 percent.
The company announced last week it had cut 5,520 employees through voluntary resignations and retirements and had now come to the “unfortunate moment” when people had to be fired.
About another 4,000 workers will be turfed out in coming months, the company said.
Airlines postponed or canceled orders for new Boeing planes as travel was quashed during the global lockdown and those orders will be slow to resume; the airline industry itself expects at least a two-year recovery to pre-pandemic revenue levels.
Before the pandemic and lockdown, Boeing had been plagued by the indefinite grounding of its 737 Max, its most popular plane, after software glitches crashed two of the airliners and killed more than 500 people.
After the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its plan to prop up the bond market, Boeing was able to raise $25 billion in new private debt, allowing it to survive without accepting that same amount in federal aid as it had originally planned.
Amtrak to Cut up to 3,600 Jobs
Amtrak, which has seen ridership and ticket revenues plunge by 95 percent during the economic shutdown, will lay off up to 20 percent of its 18,000-person workforce in its new fiscal year beginning 1 October.
The national passenger rail carrier already has dropped $215 million in capital projects from its budget this year and plans to erase another $600 million in property acquisitions, station improvements, and other outlays.
The company is restarting service along key portions of its passenger-heavy northeastern corridor lines but forecasts that 2021’s ridership will be about half that of pre-pandemic levels.
Amtrak, which had lopped hundreds of millions of dollars in costs from its budget in recent years, had projected making a profit in 2020 for the first time in its 50-year history.
Instead, it received $1 billion in aid under the federal CARES Act and says it needs another $1.5 billion to survive.
The rail line has an estimated $40 billion in backlogged maintenance projects for track and other infrastructure.
Before the pandemic, Amtrak’s 300 daily trains were carrying about 87,000 passengers.
Amtrak also offers express package shipping services but does not carry bulk freight.

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