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Southwest Air Signals Jobs Risk With Plan for 30% Cut in Flying

May 22, 2020, 5:22 PM

Southwest Airlines Co. expects flying capacity later this year to be down about 30% from 2019, potentially leaving the company overstaffed, Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said.

The carrier may be forced into the first involuntary furloughs in its 49-year history if travel demand doesn’t pick up more swiftly over the summer, Kelly said Friday in a video message to employees. Like its rivals, Southwest has offered employee leave programs after industry passenger totals tumbled as much as 95% from last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“In April, we lost about $1 billion not counting government support, which just isn’t...

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