Another round of furloughs set for American Airlines subsidiary at Charlotte airport

Another round of furloughs set for American Airlines subsidiary at Charlotte airport
(Source: American Airlines)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Charlotte Observer) - Another group of Mecklenburg County airport workers will be out of a job — at least temporarily — starting in October, according to a report filed with the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Nearly 250 people will be impacted by the move.

The news comes a week after American Airlines reported plans to layoff or furlough nearly 1,500 employees in Mecklenburg County as COVID-19 continues to spread.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport passenger numbers dropped drastically as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread, and have stayed low since.

In May, the most recent passenger activity report posted on CLT’s website, only 499,035 people took flights out of CLT. That’s down from 2.2 million in May 2019.

Now, PSA Airlines, a subsidiary airline owned by American, plans to layoff or furlough 247 employees, including 153 pilots and 80 flight attendants, according to a Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the state. Right now, PSA Airlines has 1,600 employees in Charlotte.

The WARN notice filed with the state notes the company has “sincere hope” the furloughs and layoffs will be temporary, but that PSA Airlines cannot predict when — or if — those employees would be brought back to work.

The job changes will go into effect on Oct. 1, or within 14 days of that date. The furloughs and layoffs affect employees working at the Charlotte airport and at a training center nearby.

“While we cannot predict future demand for air travel, we know we will be a smaller and more efficient airline in the future,” PSA Airlines President Dion Flannery said in a statement. “Flight schedules for the fall and forecasts for early 2021 show lower levels of flying for a longer period and unfortunately, this outlook means furloughs for our frontline crew members are inevitable.”

Last week, the Observer reported American Airlines plans to layoff or furlough nearly 1,500 employees in Mecklenburg, another 739 employees in Wake County and 370 employees in Forsyth County starting in October.

American received $5.8 billion in payroll support from the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

That funding came with a requirement protecting American employees from involuntary furloughs or pay rate reductions — but that requirement expires Sept. 30.