Dayton-based PSA Airlines lays off over 250 employees

Local airline PSA lays off hundreds

DAYTON — Amid tens of thousands of airline industry job cuts nationwide slated to take effect in the coming days, hundreds of workers based at Dayton International Airport are expected to lose their job.

Dayton-based PSA Airlines announced 259 furloughs and cuts in a filing through the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, including 156 pilots and 62 flight attendants.

The regional airline, which flies American Airlines (American Eagle) jets out of Dayton International, said at the time “It is our sincere hope that the furloughs and layoffs…will only be temporary,” but added, “Due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we cannot presently predict or guarantee a timeline for the recall of any employee impacted.”

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PSA filed another WARN notice in late August indicating plans to layoff 47 more employees “related to maintenance and engineering,” but indicated these cut would be permanent.

These cutbacks come as the airline industry has seen a 70 percent drop in passenger traffic compared to last year. And with $25 billion in federal loans and grants set to expire Oct. 1, the airlines across the country are furloughing or cutting tens of thousand of employees. American Airlines announced its intent to cut 19,000 workers Wednesday evening.

Miami Valley-based aviation expert Jay Ratliff said a big part of the problem is the uncertainty over how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last.

“Airlines thought when they started this mask policy that more people would be flying,” Ratliff said. “Well, they’re coming back, but not as quickly as (the airlines) would like.”

Wednesday evening, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley called on lawmakers in Washington to come to an agreement on a new stimulus bill that would help not just airline industry workers, but workers, small businesses and local governments.

“The federal government could fix all of this,” Whaley said in an interview with News Center 7′s Sean Cudahy. “This is nobody’s fault that we’re going through COVID, but it is the federal government’s fault that they won’t get to the table and get people help.”

Whaley warned, without stimulus, the coming months could bring even more challenges.

“This fourth quarter is going to be very difficult and PSA is just the beginning,” she said.