A pilot walks by United Airlines planes as they sit parked at gates at San Francisco International Airport on April 12, 2020 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
United Airlines on Friday said it’s planning to cut 13 of its 67 officers in an effort to save money as coronavirus continues to keep a lid on travel demand.
The Chicago-based carrier, like its competitors American and Delta, are offering voluntary separation agreements and other packages to thousands of employees. Layoffs or cuts to pay rates are prohibited through Sept. 30 under the terms of $25 billion in federal aid for the airline industry. The executives’ departures are effective Oct. 1.
Air travel demand hit the lowest point in decades because of the virus. While more travelers are hitting the skies as the peak spring and summer travel season gets underway, demand is still down sharply. Federal data showed 87% fewer people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints on Thursday than a year ago.
“While there are glimmers of good news in our July schedule — we expect to be down about 75% versus 90% right now — travel demand is still a very long way from where it was at the end of last year and the financial impact on our business remains severe,” United said in a written statement.
The cuts to the officer-level jobs include those working on the airline’s network, regional hubs and in community engagement. United declined to say how much money the resulting reorganization will save the company.