DALLAS (WJZ) — The chief operating officer of Southwest Airlines said the latest COVID-19 relief package’s passage will prevent the company from moving toward furloughs next year.

In an update to employees posted on the Dallas-based airline’s website, CEO Gary Kelly said the law, which President Donald Trump signed on Sunday, will “provide payroll support for all Southwest Employees through March 21, 2021.”

“Given this, we currently do not anticipate the need to conduct any furloughs or pay cuts next year,” he continued.

Earlier this month, Southwest warned nearly 7,000 employees nationwide they may be furloughed in the spring to address current overstaffing due to the drop in demand for air travel. It would have been the first time the airline had instituted furloughs.


While the company did not provide specific details about how many workers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport would be impacted, 1,181 Southwest employees of the almost 4,500 at the airport were sent Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications, data from the Maryland Department of Labor at the time showed.

In November, the company sent WARN notices to more than 400 employees nationwide, including 106 at BWI.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff