Shortly after a similar deal was reached with United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare), the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has announced it has come to agreements with Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma Int'l) to avoid involuntary furloughs once federal job protection legislation expires on September 30, 2020.

"Our experienced team of pilot volunteers worked diligently over the last two months to establish programs for those pilots who could step away from flying on a temporary or permanent basis while preserving the employment of those who need or want to continue flying," the Chairman of Alaska Airlines' chapter of ALPA, Will McQuillen, said.

The union added that the deals cover a number of incentivized leave and early retirement programs. Thanks to "strong participation" on a voluntary basis, the threat of involuntary furloughs has been "effectively avoided".

Alaska Air Group warned earlier this summer that it might be forced to reduce its headcount by 20% due to ongoing weak demand.

Currently, airlines receiving federal support in the US are prevented from any involuntary layoffs through the end of September.