American to furlough 19,000 as the clock runs out on federal aid for airlines

American Airlines will begin furloughing 19,000 employees on Thursday after lawmakers and the White House failed to agree on a broad pandemic-relief package that includes more federal aid for airlines.

CEO Doug Parker said Wednesday night that if Washington comes up with a deal for $25 billion in airline aid “over the next few days,” American will reverse the furloughs and recall the employees.

The move by American represents the first — and likely the largest — involuntary jobs cut across the industry in coming days. United Airlines has indicated it could furlough nearly 12,000 workers.

Airline employees and executives made 11th-hour appeals this week to Congress and the Trump administration to avert furloughs when a federal prohibition on layoffs — a condition of an earlier round of federal aid — expires Thursday.

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