American Airlines employees brace for more furloughs

American Airlines staff are bracing for another round of furlough when a second round of federal aid ends.

The airline is one of several that received money from a $15 billion support package in December to protect workers' jobs, but when that expires at the end of March, CEO Doug Parker warned the company will be overstaffed from April.

Parker's comments were made during a recent town hall meeting, according to a recording reviewed by Reuters and confirmed by American.

The industry had hoped that pandemic-hit demand would have recovered with vaccine rollouts..

U.S. aviation unions are urging Congress to extend a third round of payroll assistance, something Parker said he would support.

He told employees, "that's a much better solution than having people furloughed again."

American furloughed 19,000 workers when a first round of government payroll support expired on Oct. 1 but recalled them in December.

Parker said he hoped fewer workers would be impacted this time.

He also pointed to new COVID-19 testing requirements for people entering the U.S. from abroad that had further suppressed international travel demand.