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Aviation Industry Updates: August 25, 2020

By August 24, 2020September 8th, 2020Industry News

American Announces 1,605 Pilot Furloughs

In a memo released on Tuesday, August 25th, Kimball Stone, American’s S.V.P of Flight Operations & Integrated Operations Center, penned a letter to pilots informing them of the bad news.

Come October 1st, American will be furloughing 19,000 employees unless Payroll Support Program funding is approved.

887 pilots will be furloughed come October 1st, with the remaining 718 being let go in November and December, for a total of 1,605 pilots affected.

Stone goes on to detail the steps taken to protect jobs including:

  • Stopping all hiring
  • Offering short term, long term, and permanent leave options

At the end of March, American had 15,710 pilots on the seniority list.

By July, as a result of mandatory retirements and other unspecified changes, there were 14,908 pilots left on the list.

This left a surplus of approximately 2,300 pilots who would have otherwise been furloughed.

After awarding 522 0-hour line awards, as well as other voluntary measures, American was left with 1,605 pilots made redundant.

The letter to employees ended with disappointment over the Voluntary Early Out Program (VEOP). Because so many pilots within 1 year of retirement bid for the VEOP, American later decided to not award any pilots this option.

Executives felt the VEOP would have worsened the economic impact on the company and therefore were unable to award any.

To all affected pilots, you and your families are in our thoughts. Many of us at Raven were furloughed during the 2008 Financial Crisis and recall feeling anxious, frustrated, and isolated. If you find yourself needing support in this time, we are here to listen to your concerns, share our insights, and support you as you navigate the challenges ahead.

CEO Says ‘Day of Reckoning’ Is Near | What Does This Mean?


  • “A day of reckoning is coming to the industry, because we can’t continue with where we are.”
  • “I think the key, one of the benefits, of us [JetBlue] being a smaller airline than some of our competitors, is that we can be incredibly nimble. We can add capacity at short notice and we can pull capacity out of short notice.”
  • “There’s no doubt business travel is gonna stay challenged for awhile. You know, who’s gonna go on a business trip and visit another company when the offices are closed and there’s no one to visit? We’ve pivoted away from that.”
  • “I would say you know we’ve plateaued. I mean we’re certainly further behind than we had expected to be from where we were back in June. Once we saw the case count start rising in the US and we saw some of that a demand disappear I would really say with which plateau really at sort of 25 to 30% of the demand that we would normally expect to be flying at this time of year.”
  • “If we look at our August schedule we’re flying about 40% of what we normally fly which is probably about 10 to 15% less than we had expected to be flying in August.”
  • “In terms of numbers of jobs we have and see demand it’s 25 to 30% of where we’d normally be.”
  • On furloughs, he notes that it is something JetBlue has never done before and they don’t want to do it but notes that “we’re in a very-very critical situation right now.”
  • He also noted that JetBlue’s largely domestic footprint and their largely leisure footprints will be the two areas that will lead recovery first.

Watch the full video here:

Delta’s International Partners Recovering Faster | ALPA Expresses Concerns


  • “ALPA is expressing concerns about how the pandemic has reduced flying to negligible levels, and that as flying is added back, Delta’s joint venture partners are recovering flying faster and disproportionately compared to Delta.”
  • “In each of these cases Delta not only owns a stake in the airline, but also has a joint venture. With a joint venture, airlines share revenue, meaning that Delta benefits even when a partner airline adds flights.”
  • The article points to the fact that the Delta CFO stated that these agreements “broaden the network internationally and globally with a much more effective return on invested capital formula than it would be for us to buy widebody airplanes and go out and grow that organically.”

Delta’s Union stated:

“This is intolerable. Delta must honor our scope agreements, especially with Delta pilot jobs at imminent risk. We cannot allow our flying to be outsourced to foreign carriers while management is threatening Delta pilots with furloughs.

Delta spent billions on failing international partners; money that we could certainly use during these difficult times. We cannot change management’s previous decisions to sink billions into these carriers. Still, we can enforce our scope language and insist on equitable flying in the future. When international travel returns, Delta needs to be ready to offer customers our premium product world-wide.”

Delta Image aug 25 Email

Scholarship Opportunities | RTAG & NGPA

With uncertainty in the air and furloughs on the horizon, it is important to look for ways to improve your opportunities. Rotary To Airline Group (RTAG) and National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) have some incredible opportunities for scholarships right now.

RTAG has the following two scholarships available:

  • RTAG – E2A Scholarship sponsored by Trident Aircraft-Ozark
    This scholarship will be awarded to one enlisted veteran. The winner will earn training valued at approximately $50,000, provided by Trident Aircraft in Ozark, AL. This training will consist of requirements to attain the following pilot certificates: Private Pilot, Instrument, CSEL, CFI-A, CFII. Additionally, this lucky veteran will have a guaranteed job with Trident Aircraft for 2 years following the completion of training with an average earning of $45-$60K per year!
  • RTAG – CFI/CFII Scholarship sponsored by Trident Aircraft-Ozark
    This scholarship will be awarded to two veterans that already have a CSEL and Instrument rating. The winners will earn training provided by Trident Aircraft in Ozark, AL. This training will consist of requirements to attain the following pilot certificates: CFI-A & CFII. Additionally, these lucky veterans will have a guaranteed job with Trident Aircraft for 1 year following the completion of training with an average earning of $45-$60K per year!

NGPA has 16 scholarships available this year!

Partnering with major and regional airlines, training centers, and self-funding, NGPA has scholarships providing 737 type ratings, seaplane ratings, flight instructor certifications, and more.

Whether you are looking to begin training toward your private pilot rating or looking for a coveted airline-sponsored opportunity they have it.

Weekly TSA Numbers | Rebound Stalling?

TSA Numbers Aug 24 Email

Additional Resources

How to Answer “Will You Resign Your Seniority Number”?

Why Applying for Jobs Online Won’t Work

How Does the Coronavirus Compare to 9/11?

How to Survive Disruptive Change

Are Furloughs Coming?

What Should Pilots Do In These Uncertain Times?