United says jobs losses likely after Cares Act protection ends

United Airlines expects it will eventually reduce its
workforce after a federal prohibition on cutbacks ends in September.

Under the federal Cares Act rescue bill, airlines that
accept a portion of the $25 billion in grants that are available must maintain
staffing and pay levels through Sept. 30.

However, United CEO Oscar Munoz and president Scott Kirby in
a letter to employees said they expect demand to remain suppressed for months,
possibly into next year.

“If the recovery is as slow as we fear, it means our airline
and our workforce will have to be smaller than it is today,” the executives
said.

They added that they would plan for the worst but hope for a
faster recovery.

United has thus far cut its flying by more than 60%, but
still expects its load factor to be as low as single digits in April. The
carrier plans deeper capacity cuts in May and June.

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