American Begins Large-Scale Furloughs In Response To Terrorist Attacks

Employees to Receive Special Payments, Benefits, Other Help; Carty Thanks Community for Support

FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines today began the painful process of releasing about 20,000 employees, offering special payments, medical benefits, travel privileges, free career development classes, a variety of job and personal support resources, and the ability to stay in touch with the company through a special Internet-based program. The layoffs result from the terrorist attacks that have devastated the airline industry.

“It is with incredible sadness that we say goodbye to colleagues who have served our airline with loyalty and dedication,” said Don Carty, chairman and CEO of American. “We hope one day to welcome many of our employees back to a stronger American. Until then, we want to do what we can to help them through this unprecedented time in our history.”

Although exact numbers are still being developed, Carty said layoffs during the next two to four weeks would total approximately 15,000 American, 3,000 TWA and about 1,700 Eagle employees across all work groups.

In addition to the financial assistance and benefits being offered, a company Web site will provide tools to showcase employees’ talents and experience to other employers. American will offer free access to career development, financial management and other classes at American’s Flagship University, and also offer a wide range of financial, lifestyle, education and other resources through LifeBalance®, American’s life resources program. Carty said he was especially grateful that local employers pledged to help American’s released employees.


“Almost immediately after we announced the need to reduce our staff, we received calls from other companies asking us to refer our employees to their recruitment people. That support from our communities means a great deal,” Carty said.

Companies that wish to add their name to the list of potential recruiters or employers can send an email to [email protected]

Carty also noted that the federal government’s assistance package has made it possible for American to provide special payments to employees who will be laid off.

The job cuts, which are being staggered over several weeks depending on work group and location, will affect American, American Eagle and TWA employees across American’s system, in every operating and management group. This round of management and support staff reductions are in addition to an earlier hiring freeze and reductions of 3 percent in management and support staff ranks announced before the Sept. 11 attacks.

American is taking extraordinary cost-cutting measures as it rebuilds from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Carty, for example, has volunteered to take no compensation until the end of the year. All American Airlines officers are taking substantial voluntary pay cuts, and American employees are volunteering for pay reductions as well. The airline also has cut its schedule by 20 percent, grounded airplanes, and invited employees to submit ideas for cost savings.