MIAMI – Southwest Airlines (WN) has released a memo to employees signed by its Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly stating there will be no furloughs or pay cuts throughout 2021 based on the COVID-19 Relief Package.

As the Payroll Support Program (PSP) was extended, Kelly claimed the move toward furloughs and pay cuts previously announced would stop. Through the PSP, the payroll support will be extended until March 31, 2021.

Thus, the airline announced there was no anticipation on efforts to furlough or reduce employees’ pay. Additionally, it is  officially rescinding the WARN furlough notices and those of pay reductions for Noncontract Employees.

Southwest Airlines’ look with heart. Photo: Stephen M. Keller.

Words of Gratitude


Apart from the employment-related announcements, Kelly thanked the extension of the program and key leaders who acted accordingly. He mentioned Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for their efforts in favor of the US airline industry.

Regarding the CARES Act, the latest emergency economic relief legislation, Kelly thanked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The head of the airline also expressed his gratitude to employees who use their Warrior Spirit to advocate for the PSP extension with their elected representatives in Congress. Kelly added that he was “extremely grateful” that so many workers were willing to sacrifice to help preserve jobs. 

To conclude, the CEO warned that the battle was not over, but that WN was resilient and prepared to fight to “emerge stronger than ever.”


Featured photo: Southwest Airlines. Photo: Luke Ayers/Airways.