Mass layoffs begin.
Airlines have started cutting tens of thousands of jobs on Thursday as a federal prohibition on jobs cuts in the industry expired.
With the CARES Act funding now finished, airlines say they have no choice to furlough its workers.
American Airlines says it is shedding 19,000 workers while United Airlines announced over 13,000 employees will be asked to stay home.
In a letter to staff announcing the layoffs, American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said: “I am extremely sorry we have reached this outcome. It is not what you all deserve.”
US airlines have been pleading for another $25 billion in payroll support to protect jobs for a further six months, however, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi have failed to reach an agreement on a new stimulus package.
Airlines have said that they are ready to reverse the decisions if more financing is found.
In a message to its employees, United Airlines said it was imploring “our elected leaders to reach a compromise, get a deal done now, and save jobs”.
“In a continuing effort to give the federal government every opportunity to act, we have made clear to leadership in the administration, Congress and among our union partners that we can and will reverse the furlough process if the Cares Act Payroll Support Program is extended in the next few days.”
Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air and Hawaiian Airlines have also said they will furlough staff beginning Thursday while Delta Air Lines has postponed at least 1,700 pilot furloughs until November 1.