MIAMI – United Airlines (UA) has reached an agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) to prevent the furlough of close to 3,000 pilots. The deal has been agreed in principle and is still to be approved by the leadership of the ALPA UA chapter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has massively shrunken travel demand, especially in the United States. Earlier this month, UA announced plans to furlough 16,000 staff on October 1, upon expiration of federal job protection laws.

Boeing 787 dreamliner. PHOTO: Luca Flores/Airways (Instagram: @luca_at_lax)

Government Proposed Reassurances

Airline unions and lobbyist groups are also pushing for a second airline bailout worth $25bn. It is reported that President Donald Trump is in favor of the bill, which will protect airline jobs through the end of March 2021.

Experts believe this potential deal will not be pushed forward until later in the month, with the CARES act providing protection until October 1.

Split scimitar winglet. PHOTO: United Airlines

A Temporary Solution?

While a deal has been agreed upon in principle, the details are still unclear. The two parties are yet to detail the length of time this deal will prevent furloughs for, and how UA plans to cut costs to ensure job security.

United said in a statement to CNBC that it is seeking to “reduce the number of involuntary furloughs at United and are happy we were able to reach an agreement in principle with ALPA that can potentially save pilot jobs.”

The Pilot Association is expected to make a statement regarding the details of the deal once it is officially concluded. More updates will soon follow.

Featured Image: United Airlines Airbus A319 Photo: Nicholas Vitolano/Airways.