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Southwest Airlines Makes New Voluntary Leave Offer To Its Employees

By Dave Simpson

Southwest Airlines Co has said that it is offering employees another round of voluntary leave as its staffing levels remain high and the coronavirus outbreak crimps travel.

"Southwest remains overstaffed in many areas. As a result, some departments will be offering additional opportunities for employees to take extended time off (ExTO) beginning in March 2021, based upon projected staffing levels", the company said in an e-mail to Reuters.

"The additional opportunities for leave align with the period when some employees will return from previously-awarded, six-month leaves on March 1, 2021", the company added.

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Bloomberg reported earlier that 791 Southwest pilots have agreed to take one to three months off.

The "big four" US airlines - Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest - have also asked for additional bailouts.

This month, the US Treasury Department began distributing $15 billion in new payroll assistance to airlines, money allocated by Congress to help more than 32,000 aviation workers return to their jobs through at least March 31.

Southwest said that it expects to receive $1.73 billion in total.

Furlough Warnings

Last month, the company said that it had issued notices to 6,828 employees warning them that they could be furloughed.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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