Memo Reveals American Airlines Needs to Cut 8,000 Flight Attendant Jobs
American Airlines needs to significantly downsize staffing at some of its bases, and plans to cut 8,000 flight attendant jobs. The information comes from a memo sent to flight attendants at the airline, Business Insider reports.
Senior vice president for flight services Jill Surdek that the airline expects to be overstaffed by somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 flight attendants, based on anticipated flying and demand in 2021. American has about 26,000 flight attendants across its system, so that would mean that about 30% would be gone. The airline said it plans to try and reduce the number as much as possible first through various voluntary options, such as buyouts and early retirements.
“This does not mean that we’ll furlough that many flight attendants, but it’s an overage that we will need to address,” Surdek wrote in the memo.
American Airlines also plans to close and resize some of its major flight attendant bases. Bases in St. Louis and Raleigh-Durham will be closed in February 2021, and converted to satellites of crew bases in Dallas-Fort Worth and Charlotte, respectively. Some crewmembers will likely have to move, or commute to work by catching flights from home to their new bases, however.
Major US airlines received support from the CARES Act, which covered payroll expenses, but also restricted them from laying off, furloughing, or cutting employee pay until after September 30. But after that date, US airlines are expected to begin furloughing employees this month, as most of them are overstaffed as travel demand is far from normal, even with the recent uptick.