July 13, 2020 / 4:26 PM / a month ago

Southwest Airlines warns it may need job cuts without jump in travel

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON July 13 (Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Gary Kelly told employees on Monday it needs a dramatic jump in passenger demand or it will be forced to take new steps to reduce staffing.

Employees face a Wednesday deadline whether to participate in a voluntary incentive program to leave the airline. “Although furloughs and layoffs remain our very last resort, we can’t rule them out as a possibility obviously in this very bad environment,” Kelly said in a message to employees. “We need a significant recovery by the end of this year —and that’s roughly triple the number of passengers from where we are today.” (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski and David Shepardson Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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