Primary Menu

An American Airlines plane prepares to land at the Fort...

An American Airlines plane prepares to land at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on July 16, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. JetBlue Airways and American Airlines Group announced... Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

American Airlines says it will furlough or lay off 19,000 employees in October as it struggles with a sharp downturn in travel because of the pandemic.  Flight attendants will bear the heaviest cuts, with 8,100 losing their jobs.

The numbers announced today are in addition to 23,500 employees who accepted buyouts, retired early or took long-term leaves of absence.

U.S. air travel has recovered slightly since April, but remains down 70% from a year ago, and carriers say they need fewer workers.

In March, passenger airlines got $25 billion from the government to save jobs for six months, but that money and a ban on furloughs both expire October 1.