American Airlines will furlough 17,500 employees and conduct 1,500 layoffs on the management side come Oct. 1, the carrier told employees Tuesday.
"Today is the hardest message we have had to share so far – the announcement of involuntary staffing reductions effective Oct. 1," said CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom in a letter to employees Tuesday morning.
The announcement that thousands of employees will be furloughed this fall is not a surprise, as American Airlines Group, Inc. notified staff in July that 25,000 employees could be furloughed when Payroll Support Program funding expires Sept. 30.
American did not indicate how particular regions could be affected. Before the pandemic, the carrier was the largest in operation at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airpot, but it fell to second place in May after slumping travel brought its passenger numbers below those of Southwest Airlines.