American Airlines is overstaffed by about 8,000 flight attendants and warns of job losses

From October 1, the company will reduce its international and transcontinental crew to the minimum required by the Federal Aviation Administration, plus one flight attendant

American Airlines Group has warned it is overstaffed by about 8,000 flight attendants and might reduce its workforce through early retirements and voluntary leaves.

From October 1, the company will reduce its international and transcontinental crew to the minimum required by the Federal Aviation Administration, plus one flight attendant, said Jill Surdek, American Airlines’ vice-president of flight service.

US carriers have warned that furloughs could take place in October, when the government payroll aid for the airline industry expires, but said they were hoping to avoid them.

The company said it would initiate early-out programmes to minimise the need for furloughs and would address the excess numbers in the coming weeks.

Last week, American Airlines said that avoiding furloughs will be difficult and it expects to have between 10 per cent and 20 per cent more workers than needed in July 2021.

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Separately, American Airlines said it expects its summer 2021 long-haul international capacity to be down 25 per cent compared with 2019, as it sees lesser business from its international market. 

The carrier had initiated a phased suspension of nearly all long-haul international flights in March, as the airline industry took a hit from reduced demand and travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic.

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