Greenville-based Air Wisconsin Airlines plans to lay off 140 first officers located at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, according to a WARN notice filed with the state.
The first officers, also known as co-pilots, will be laid off starting April 1, 2021. Air Wisconsin did not specify how long the temporary layoffs would last.
Air Wisconsin says the layoffs are the result of decreased demand for its services and the impact that COVID-19 has had on the airline industry.
Air Wisconsin performs flying services for United Airlines as United Express, carrying its passengers in CRJ-299 jets throughout the Midwest and the East Coast. United Express is the brand name for the regional branch of United Airlines, under which six individually owned regional airlines operate short and medium-haul feeder flights.
The 140 pilots being laid off are union employees with the Airline Pilots Association. Due to bumping rights, Air Wisconsin cannot predict which employees will be affected, according to the notice.
Last year, Air Wisconsin laid off a total of 361 employees located at both Milwaukee Mitchell and Appleton International Airport, which is where Air Wisconsin is based. These layoffs were temporary and were also the result of United Airlines’ decreased demand for Air Wisconsin services.
However, its not clear whether any of the employees laid off last year have since returned to work. Air Wisconsin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In January, some airlines including Southwest Airlines rescinded previously announced furloughs after the federal government extended the length and the duration of the Payroll Support Program.
The PSP, which is just $15 billion of the $900 billion stimulus bill that former President Donald Trump signed into law, was designed to reduce the number of layoffs in the airline industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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