Southwest CEO: Coronavirus sank business by 90%
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly on managing business amid coronavirus and the future of the industry.
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(Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Co on Monday extended buyout packages and temporary paid leaves to employees in what its chief executive said was an effort to "ensure survival" as the carrier braces for a slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents detailing the packages that were seen by Reuters.
Southwest, which has not imposed any layoffs or furloughs in its 49-year history, said its flying capacity would probably be down about 30% in the fall.
"While overstaffing isn't tied 100% to capacity levels, it would be fair to assume that we are overstaffed in many areas by a similar percentage," Southwest said in the documents.
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Southwest is offering leaves of a minimum of six months with benefits and 50% pay for most employees, excluding pilots, who would receive about 61% pay. The maximum leave period varies, and the airline said it "may return employees to work earlier if needed for operational needs."
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES LOSES $94M AS CORONAVIRUS SNARLS FLIGHTS
Buyouts are being offered to employees depending on their time with the company. Employees with more than 10 years experience would receive a year's pay, health benefits and four years of flight privileges. Pilots would receive about two-thirds of their average salary for five years, or until they reach age 65.