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American Airlines Plans To Furlough Nearly 1,200 Workers At Lambert Airport

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
American Airlines is the second largest airline at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. It plans to furlough 13,000 workers across the country when federal payroll support for airline workers expires in April.

American Airlines plans to furlough nearly 1,200 employees at St. Louis Lambert International Airport starting in early April when federal aid for airline workers expires.

In a letter to the state on Friday, the airline also said it would permanently lay off three employees in St. Louis.

That’s part of a larger plan to temporarily furlough 13,000 employees across the country, according to a letter executives sent to employees last week.

American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in the letter that the company is in for another summer of reduced flights, despite hopes of a turnaround.

“We are nearly five weeks into 2021, and unfortunately, we find ourselves in a situation similar to much of 2020,” they said. “The vaccine is not being distributed as quickly as any of us believed, and new restrictions on international travel that require customers to have a negative COVID-19 test have dampened demand.”

The executives said federal payroll support helped them keep workers employed last year and they’re supporting union efforts pushing to extend aid until September.

American Airlines is the second-largest airline at Lambert after Southwest, accounting for 16% of passenger traffic last year.

A Lambert spokesperson declined to comment on how the announcement may impact the airport.

Follow Corinne on Twitter: @corinnesusan

Corinne is the economic development reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

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