American Airlines plans to cut its management and office staff by 30%, impacting about 5,000 employees.

The move will come after Sept. 30 because airlines that accepted federal aid under the Cares Act cannot implement layoffs or furloughs before that date.

In a letter to employees, American executive vice president of people and communications Elise Eberwein said that the carrier will be smaller with fewer routes and fewer flights as it emerges from the Covid-19 crisis. 

“We have already taken steps to prepare for this new reality, with nearly 39,000 team members electing to take a voluntary leave or early retirement,” she wrote. “Fleet retirement accelerations are underway, and we will fly roughly 100 fewer aircraft next summer -- mostly widebodies -- than we had originally planned. Additionally, running a smaller airline means we will need a management and support staff team that is roughly 30% leaner.”

Air travel demand has risen from mid-April lows, but travel agency ticket transactions were still down 85.2% for the week that ended May 24, according to ARC.

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