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United to lay off 450 at CLE
July 11, 2020
1:51 pm
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Cole Goldberg
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With the travel industry decimated by the Covid-19 crisis, United Airlines told the state of Ohio this week that it plans to lay off 450 people at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

"As of mid-June, demand for air travel remains more than 90% lower than last year. So, even if demand continues to slowly improve, it is unfortunately very likely that we will need to adjust the size of the company to reflect lower demand levels and implement a workforce reduction to reduce our labor expenses, beginning on October 1," wrote Kate Gebo, executive vice president human resources and labor relations at Chicago-based United Airlines (Nasdaq: UAL), in a letter to the Ohio Office of Workforce Development.

Traffic at Cleveland Hopkins is a fraction of what it was a year ago.

According to the airport’s own statistics, there were only around 44,000 passengers in the month of May, which is a tenth of the number from a year ago.

This week, United said could lay off as many as 36,000 workers nationwide, or more than a third of its employees, as the coronavirus rattles U.S. travel demand.

"We have lost billions of dollars over this three-month period and are still spending far more than we are taking in. Additionally, we expect that travel demand will not go back to 'normal' until there is a vaccine for Covid-19. ...The Covid-19 pandemic has caused so much change in our personal and professional lives and will result in us being a smaller airline. While I understand the business need to align the size of our organization with demand, I also understand and deeply regret the impact this action will have on our employees and their families," Gebo wrote the state.

 United reportedly employs 1,200 people at Cleveland Hopkins airport.

 

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