As a part of Florida WARN employment laws, companies have to give a 60-day notice before mass layoffs. As reported in many media outlets, United Airlines filed a notice with the state that they will be letting go up to 447 Orlando technicians, flight attendants and other employees. United will also layoff another 109 Tampa International Airport workers, which make up to an eighth of its workforce at that airport.
United CEO Scott Kirby was the first airline executive to publicly say that the only thing that will get passengers back onto planes is a vaccine to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
United didn’t have a huge presence in Orlando, with most of the traffic being directed from its other domestic hubs. The only international traffic was through its partner, Copa Airlines. With the amount of domestic leisure air traffic at a fraction of its former volume, it’s no shocker that the airline needs to cut its labor force to meet the new levels of demand.
United accepted financial assistance as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which compels them to keep employees on until October. This announcement puts United in a position to let employees go if there’s no subsequent bailout from the federal government (which doesn’t look likely at the moment.)
While it’s not a popular position to take in the blogosphere, significant cuts from airlines in response to decreased demand is almost a certainty once support from the government goes away. Until the public is confident in a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel industry, and in particular commercial aviation, will suffer the consequences.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary