Two major US carriers, namely American Airlines and United Airlines, are moving forward with furloughs involving more than 32,000 employees.

The decision was taken after talks with Congressional leaders and the White House failed to reach an agreement to extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program (PSP) before the deadline. 

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) president captain Joe DePete said: “Despite bipartisan support for the most effective job-loss prevention measure on record, Congress and the White House are poised to miss the deadline to extend the PSP.  

“While government leaders have stated they will continue talks tomorrow, for many pilots, tomorrow will be too late – their jobs will already be gone.  

“The consequences of this inaction has a serious impact on those who are set to be furloughed at midnight tonight. 

“ALPA strongly encourages all parties to continue negotiating toward a coronavirus relief package that will help stabilise the airline industry and protect frontline aviation workers.” 

As part of this move, American airline will furlough 19,000 employees while United will cut more than 13,000 jobs.  

Meanwhile, the airlines are open to reverse the decision if a stimulus deal can be attained. 

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO president Sara Nelson said: “Without an extension of this successful jobs programme, there is no backstop for layoffs. Job loss will increase exponentially. Inaction is not an option. #ReliefNow for the whole country. Get it done.” 

Pilots of United Airlines recently agreed on a reduced scheduled deal that will prevent 2,800 furloughs that were due on 1 October.