United Airlines cancels furloughs after stimulus package passes

United Airlines cancels furloughs after stimulus package passes
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United Airlines on Wednesday canceled planned employee furloughs after the House passed the COVID-19 relief package that provides payroll support for the industry.

“Thousands of frontline workers will now receive paychecks and healthcare through September, which is especially critical while vaccine distribution continues to ramp up,” CEO Scott Kirby wrote on LinkedIn.

An internal memo obtained by The Hill also went out to employees announcing that all furlough programs, voluntary and involuntary, will be canceled. The company was planning to furlough about 14,000 workers on April 1. 


“After months of lobbying for additional funding to prevent involuntary furloughs for our teammates, I’m happy to share that Congress has passed legislation to provide our industry with more financial support,” the memo read.

Airlines got a $15 billion boost in the COVID-19 relief package — which President Biden signed into law Thursday — and an extension of the Payroll Support Program, which was a key provision in last spring’s CARES Act that was set to expire April 1. 

American Airlines also canceled its 13,000 furloughs on Wednesday, telling employees who received warnings to “tear them up!”

Airlines were preparing for another round of layoffs, especially after Biden’s original proposal didn’t include funds for the industry. House Democrats added it to the package last month. 

Companies had warned that tens of thousands of employees overall could be furloughed if there wasn't an extension. 

The package passed Wednesday will extend the program through Sept. 30 and give $14 billion to support workers of air carriers and $1 billion for workers of eligible contractors.