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A pilot walks by United Airlines planes as they sit parked at gates at San Francisco Global Airport on April 12 in San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty Pictures

Clobbered by the coronavirus pandemic, United Airlines is sending warning letters approximately fifty percent of its frontline workforce that they could be furloughed when restrictions on a federal bailout expire Oct 1.

The world’s third-premier airline states 36,000 employees — which include 15,000 flight attendants, 11,000 buyer support and gate agents, 5,550 upkeep staff members and 2,250 pilots — are about to get 60-working day mass layoff notices. The reductions are in addition to furloughs of place of work-primarily based personnel the corporation formerly mentioned it would lower. 

“The truth is that United merely simply cannot continue on at our latest payroll level past Oct 1 in an setting in which travel demand is so frustrated,” the company claimed in a concept to employees. 

The Wednesday announcement paints a grim photograph for an air travel restoration only times following United introduced it would ramp up its program in August.  

The airline is functioning only a quarter of flights as opposed to previous year and states that planes are, on average, 55% entire. United executives say demand from customers for air vacation has slipped not too long ago in markets this kind of as New York, exactly where bookings at its Newark hub dropped as Covid instances surged. 

United executives told reporters the company has completed all the things it can to safeguard personnel — urging them to take early retirement and voluntary separation programs and aggressively increasing hundreds of thousands in new dollars — but the airline is nevertheless hemorrhaging $40 million every day. 

The airline, which reached an arrangement this week with the Treasury Section to tap a financial loan fund, is also not counting on a different spherical of reduction to move Congress. 

“We do not truly feel like we can rely on additional federal authorities guidance to survive and we have to take methods to protect the organization and protect the extensive-expression desire of the company and the prospective customers for united staff,” a company govt mentioned.

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