Sept. 9 (UPI) -- United Airlines and the union representing its pilots have negotiated the beginnings of an agreement that will stop planned furloughs of almost 3,000 pilots, CNBC reported Wednesday.
The airline announced last week it planned to cut 16,000 U.S. jobs, including 2,850 pilots, by Oct. 1 as a response to the drastic drop in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic and the end of federal coronavirus stimulus funds.
"Any potential mitigation must achieve our goals: stop planned furloughs, stop displacements, and include long-term permanent gains for any short-term, fully recoverable modifications," Todd Insler, chairman of the United Airlines chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association, told union members Monday.
The airline said in a statement to CNBC it was striving to "try and 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 deal would still have to be confirmed by the airline carrier and ratified by pilots.
In July, the airline agreed to an early retirement deal for pilots aged 62 or older. The airline employs 13,000 pilots. United had announced in July that 36,000 employees could lose their jobs and since then, about 7,000 employees took early retirement or a buyout.
On Friday, United announced it would reduce fall schedules between 34% and 40% compared with last year's traffic.
"Because October is typically a slower month for leisure travel, we're adjusting our schedules to reflect these seasonal changes in customer demand while resuming service or adding capacity on routes where we're seeing increased customer demand for travel," said company spokesman Ankit Gupta.
American Airlines said it will cut 19,000 workers in October when federal protections to prevent layoffs end because of the coronavirus.
Delta Air Lines threatened to furlough nearly 2,000 pilots unless they win concessions from the union.
The carrier and union members are asking U.S. lawmakers in Congress to pass further coronavirus rescue legislation that would give carriers more emergency funds to protect jobs until March.