American and United airlines this week sought to encourage more workers to take an unpaid leave of absence or voluntarily leave their jobs, according to memos the airlines sent to their employees.American reopened a period for voluntary-leave applications for most of its frontline employees, and United added a new health benefit to its voluntary-separation offer for the same group of its own employees.Airlines that have received federal coronavirus bailout funds are prohibited from laying off workers until after September 30.However, as they seek to reduce cash burn amid sluggish travel demand, airlines have sought to encourage workers to leave before that.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As US airlines get closer to announcing layoffs, some carriers are doubling down on efforts to convince workers to quit sooner or take unpaid time off beforehand.In a memo from American Airlines to frontline employees earlier this week, which was seen by Business Insider, the airline said it would reopen the application period for its voluntary leave of absence program.Frontline employees include pilots, flight attendants, gate agents, baggage handlers, and other roles directly involved with day-to-day flight operations. The reopened program excludes pilots.Major US airlines introduced voluntary-leave programs shortly after the pandemic precipitated a collapse in travel demand. As routes were sus
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