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Southwest Airlines Warns It May Cut Jobs Without Jump in Travel

Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Gary Kelly informed workers on Monday it wants a dramatic leap in passenger demand or it will likely be pressured to take new steps to scale back staffing.

Employees face a Wednesday deadline whether or not to take part in a voluntary incentive program to depart the airline (LUV).

“Although furloughs and layoffs remain our very last resort, we can’t rule them out as a possibility obviously in this very bad environment,” Kelly stated in a message to workers. “We need a significant recovery by the end of this year — and that’s roughly triple the number of passengers from where we are today.”

Kelly added that the “recent rise in COVID cases and increasing regional restrictions on businesses and states requiring quarantine aren’t positive developments for our business, and we are concerned about the impact on already weak travel demand.”

Airlines are grappling with overstaffing as they resolve whether or not to additional restrict passengers on flights.

JetBlue Airways Corp. stated Monday it is going to prolong blocking center seats on bigger airplanes and aisle seats on smaller plane for flights via Sept. 8 in response to COVID-19. Other airways, like American Airlines, are once more reserving flights to capability.

Last week, United Airlines stated it was making ready to ship notices of potential furloughs to 36,000 U.S.-based frontline workers, or about 45% of workers, as journey demand hit by the coronavirus pandemic struggles to recuperate.

Not everybody who receives a notification will likely be furloughed, United stated. Furloughs would start Oct. 1, when a government-imposed ban on pressured job cuts by airways that accepted billions of {dollars} in federal help expires.

Delta Air Lines, which is obstructing center seats via not less than Sept. 30, informed workers Thursday it plans to get “smaller as we look ahead to the recovery, which is likely to be lengthy and slow.”

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