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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

American Airlines said it will lay off 19,000 employees in October when the protections on those jobs as a condition for federal aid expire, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: The cuts come amid mass layoffs industrywide for air travel, which has seen demand plummet amid the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines that received help from the government are barred from laying people off until Sept. 30.

  • With the new cuts, American will have shed some 40,000 people from the 140,000-person workforce it had before the pandemic began, per CNBC.
  • Delta Airlines said Monday it will furlough 2,000 of its 11,000 pilots by Oct. 1, and United Airlines said in July it would furlough 36,000 employees by the same date.

What they're saying: “We have come to you many times throughout the pandemic, often with sobering updates on a world none of us could have imagined,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and president Robert Isom wrote in a note announcing the cuts to staff.

  • “Today is the hardest message we have had to share so far — the announcement of involuntary staffing reductions effective Oct. 1.”

Go deeper

Nov 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Some air travelers pay premium for social distancing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Business travel remains depressed during the pandemic, but some airlines are seeing more leisure travelers in their first-class cabins.

Why it matters: Many people are avoiding air travel during the public health crisis, fearful they'll catch COVID-19 from a nearby passenger. But for those who can afford it, premium class seats offer more comfort and perhaps a little extra breathing room.

Boeing 737 Max's next hurdle: coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Bettmann, Stephen Brashear, Ann Ronan Pictures/Getty Images

Boeing is nearing the end of a crippling stretch after the grounding of it 737 MAX last year, while trudging through another one: the pandemic.

Why it matters: Boeing's most popular jet was given the nod to fly again this week, but the world has changed in the 20 months that regulators kept the 737 MAX jet from the skies.

Nov 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Touchless travel could threaten airport jobs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Universal History Archive, Pictorial Parade/Getty Images

Air travel is becoming a touchless, self-directed journey, which poses a threat to traditional airport customer service jobs.

Why it matters: Automation and artificial intelligence have long been viewed as a threat to jobs, but the unprecedented disruption COVID-19 is posing to the travel industry could have lasting workforce implications.