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Spirit Airlines warns it could furlough up to 30 percent of employees

Spirit Airlines warns it could furlough up to 30 percent of employees
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Spirit Airlines warned employees last week that it may slash up to 9,000 workers in October, 30 percent of the company’s workforce.

Spirit CEO Ted Christie sent a memo to employees about predictions for the airline once federal coronavirus aid runs out, The Associated Press reported, with layoffs expected to include pilots, flight attendants and other staffers.

Airlines are prohibited from firing or laying off any employees until Oct. 1 under the terms of the pandemic relief funding the industry received from the government.

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Spirit's pilots union was told last week that more than 800 pilots who have been hired since February 2018 could be furloughed or terminated.

Spirit lost $144 million in the second quarter as the travel industry cratered during the pandemic, the airline reported last week.

American Airlines told employees last month that it could slash up to 25,000 jobs in the fall. Southwest Airlines also told employees that passenger numbers need to triple by the end of the year to avoid layoffs and that as many as 36,000 employees — more than one-third of its workforce — could face furloughs on Oct. 1.

Delta Air Lines has predicted it can avoid layoffs because 20 percent of the workforce — more than 17,000 employees — voluntarily agreed to retire amid the pandemic.