Release #: UAL 20.02
July 16, 2020

United Airlines Pilots Reach Agreement on Early Separation and Furlough Reduction Programs

ROSEMONT (Ill.)—Today, Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l. (ALPA) leaders at United Airlines voted in favor of two initiatives to help stem future pilot layoffs due to the staffing imbalance caused by the global pandemic. The agreements include voluntary furlough and company leave of absence programs, as well as a voluntary separation leave initiative. Full terms of the agreements are being sent to United pilots.

These furlough mitigation programs and early-out options are designed to find as many volunteers as possible who are interested in stepping back from active flying and ultimately reduce the number of pilots who would be furloughed involuntarily. 

“United Airlines has notified 2,250 pilots they are at risk of furlough this year, with the likelihood of additional notices into next year.,” said Captain Todd Insler, chairman of the United ALPA.  “The union is doing everything in its power to develop creative and innovative ways to reduce furloughs and protect the careers of United pilots. We have negotiated continued active employee health insurance benefits for furloughed pilots in conjunction with groundbreaking provisions that provide the option to remain qualified, allowing a faster recall once passenger demand returns.”

“One pilot on involuntary furlough is too many, one day out is too long,” said Insler. “The CARES Act can only take us so far. We need Congress and the President to swiftly enact an extension of the CARES Act in order to protect our pilots and the entire aviation industry.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 63,000 pilots at 34 U.S. and Canadian airlines, including the 13,000 pilots at United Airlines. Visit the United ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @UnitedPilots.


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