700 Charlotte Based American Airlines Flight Attendants To Be Furloughed October 1st
CHARLOTTE, NC – Hundreds of Charlotte area flight attendants uncertain about their future plan to protest in front of Charlotte Douglas Airport on Thursday. American Airlines plans to enact sweeping furloughs on October 1st, impacting 700 Charlotte-based flight attendants.
Airports and airlines nationwide have been hit hard by the pandemic. U.S. air travel plunged 95% by April. Passenger traffic has recovered slightly since then but remains down 70% from a year ago.
“It’s been overwhelming. It’s been crazy,” said Scott Hazelwood, the Charlotte area President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.
Cuts are now being made and relief funds are running out.
“We’re trying to save jobs and keep people off the unemployment line and keep families together and everything and it would just be devastating,” said Hazelwood.
He says 700 people will be furloughed by October 1st when CARES act funding runs out.
“We don’t know. And that’s the whole question mark with the COVID virus,” said Hazelwood.
American Airlines received $10.7 billion dollars of pandemic relief in March, the most of any airline. In return for taxpayer money, airlines were barred from furloughing workers and cutting flight destinations.
Those restrictions expire at the end of the month.
“We’re optimistic there will be positive changes in the next six months. And eventually, we can slowly come back and get things back to normal,” said Hazelwood.
American has already announced plans to stop service to 15 airports in October first and cut 19,000 jobs company-wide.
Flight Attendants are planning to picket at the airport on Thursday. They’re trying to get support for a CARES act extension, which would include an additional $25 billion dollars industry-wide.