US airlines have begun laying off thousands of workers after efforts to negotiate a new economic relief plan in Congress stalled.
American Airlines says it shedding 19,000 workers and United Airlines 13,000.
The carriers – badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic – say they are ready to reverse the decisions if more financing is found.
The airlines have received billions of dollars from the federal government.
Congress agreed the aid agreed earlier in the year as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act [Cares Act]. It was conditional that the carriers did not lay off workers until 1 October.
Airlines worldwide have been hit by a massive fall in demand caused by the pandemic.
In a letter to staff announcing the layoffs, American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said: “I am extremely sorry we have reached this outcome. It is not what you all deserve.”
On Wednesday United Airlines, in a message to its employees, said it was imploring “our elected leaders to reach a compromise, get a deal done now, and save jobs”.
“In a continuing effort to give the federal government every opportunity to act, we have made clear to leadership in the administration, Congress and among our union partners that we can and will reverse the furlough process if the Cares Act Payroll Support Program is extended in the next few days.”
It added: “To our departing 13,000 family members: thank you for your dedication and we look forward to welcoming you back.”
The layoffs increase pressure on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi who have been trying to agree on a follow-up relief plan for the struggling US economy.
Democrats, who control the House, have been pushing for a $2.2tn (£1.7tn) package while the White House wants to keep it to $1.6tn. The most recent proposal includes $20bn for struggling airlines.
On Thursday House Democrats debated the impasse. The Senate, however, adjourned until Monday evening, Reuters reported, suggesting that an end to the deadlock was not close.
A spokesman for Ms Pelosi said “distance on key areas remain”, following a 50 minute phone call with Mr Mnuchin on Thursday afternoon.
- Supreme Court ‘cautions and discharges’ NDC’s Kpessa Whyte after convicting him for contempt
- Nigeria: Hilton Hotel owner, two workers sentenced to death for murder of student
- Prof Gyampo slams Akufo-Addo over presidency’s request for CVs of senior EC officials
- Bawumia picks NPP flagbearer nomination form
- AFCON 2023Q: Nuamah included, Sowah dropped as Hughton names Ghana squad to face Madagascar
- Parliament writes to EC, declares Assin North seat vacant
- 2023 U23 AFCON: Kamaldeen Sulemana to be called up to Black Meteors squad for tournament
- Learn your trade, don’t force a move from Ajax – Liverpool legend advises Ghana star Mohammed Kudus
- Essipong: The Decaying Sports Stadium
- Fire burns Madina-Ritz junction again
- NYA urges youth in private sector to adopt modern trends of doing business
- Fixed investment to grow at a low 1.3% in 2023 – Fitch Solutions
- Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana builds capacity of fisherfolks
- Prof. Ama Atta Aidoo passes on aged 81
- Trust Sports Emporium reiterates desire to support lesser-funded sports
- We’ll ensure Kpessa Whyte propagates integrity of the court – Law School Director
- MTN holds AGM, declares dividend of 12.4 pesewas per share
- Hohoe to host 44th NDC June 4 uprising anniversary
- NPP opens nomination for Assin North Constituency by-election
- President Tinubu tells Nigerians to stop panic-buying fuel
- Kwaku Antwi-Boasiako: Potholemics (The Economics of Potholes)
- South Africa to change law to stop arrest of Putin
- 13 die after consuming toxic porridge in Namibia
- Today’s front pages: Wednesday, May 31, 2023
- Ben Roberts-Smith: How war hero’s defamation case has rocked Australia