United Airlines Expected to Furlough 36,000 Employees Nationwide

United Airlines Holdings expects to furlough as many as 36,000 workers or just over 45% of its workforce, as a response for weak demand and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak create “the worst crisis” the industry has ever faced according to a report in Yahoo Finance

According to Yahoo, the COVID-19 pandemic ravages global demand, United — along with other major carriers like Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, and Alaska — have struck a deal with the federal government for a significant cash infusion worth billions of dollars.

The company has not announced how many of the 36,000 employees will come from Newark International Airport (EWR) at this time.

The CARES Act, the omnibus coronavirus relief package, set aside $25 billion in loans for air carriers. Yet new domestic flare-ups of the virus — along with international travel restrictions — are amplifying the threat, and forcing United to weigh cutting workers en masse Yahoo wrote in their Wednesday article.

According to United, 36,000 workers — or 45% of U.S. positions — may be impacted or laid off by October 1.

Yahoo said 3700 have already taken an early-out option, the potential losses affect 15,000 flight attendants, 11,000 airport staffers, 5500 maintenance positions and 2250 pilots, the company told reporters on a conference call.