American airlines have begun laying off thousands of workers after efforts to negotiate a new economic relief plan in Congress stalled.
American Airlines says it will lay off 19,000 workers and United Airlines 13,000 workers.
Carriers – badly affected by the corona virus infection – say they are willing to change the outcome if more funding is available.
Airlines have received billions of dollars from the federal government.
Congress agreed to the aid agreed earlier this year As part of the Corona Virus Assistance, Relief and Economic Protection Act [Cares Act]. The condition is that the carriers do not lay off workers until October 1st.
Airlines around the world have been hit by a massive drop in demand caused by the epidemic.
In a letter to employees announcing the layoffs, Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, said: “I’m so sorry we reached this decision, it’s not all of you deserve it.”
On Wednesday, United Airlines said in a message to its staff that it was “urging our elected leaders to reach a compromise, make a deal now and save jobs.”
“In a continuous effort to give the federal government every opportunity to act, we have made it clear to the leadership among the administration, Congress and our union partners. Over the next few days.”
It added: “To the 13,000 family members we have left: Thank you for your commitment and we look forward to welcoming you back.”
The layoffs put pressure on Treasury Secretary Steven Munuchin and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who are trying to agree on a follow-up relief plan for the struggling US economy.
Democrats controlling the House are pushing for a 2 2.2tn (7 1.7tn) package, while the White House wants to keep it at 6 1.6tn. The most recent plan includes b 20 billion for struggling airlines.
On Thursday the House Democrats discussed the stalemate. The Senate adjourned until Monday evening, however, after a Reuters report suggested that the stalemate was not near an end.
Following a 50-minute phone call with Mr Munuchin on Thursday afternoon, a spokeswoman for Ms Pelosi said “there is a distance in key areas”.