(CNN) — Southwest Airlines warned 6,800 employees Thursday they may be furloughed in the spring, the airline told CNN.
If the layoffs do take place, they would be the first in the carrier’s nearly 50-year history.
The total includes 2,551 ground crew members who handle baggage, cargo, and restocking planes, as well as 1,176 customer service agents, 1,500 flight attendants and 1,221 pilots. The airline said the cuts would take place on March 15 or April 1 for different groups of employees.
US airlines, including Southwest, received a total of $25 billion in federal help earlier this year with the condition that they not institute any involuntary job cuts through the end of September. United and American Airlines furloughed 32,000 employees between them on October 1, the day that prohibition ended.
Delta Air Lines has avoided involuntary job cuts because…