American Airlines is moving ahead with furloughs, CEO says

FILE PHOTO: People walk past an American Airlines logo on a wall at John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport in in New York November 27, 2013. A wintry blast of heavy rain, wind and snow across the eastern United States disrupted Thanksgiving travel plans on Wednesday for some of the millions of Americans hitting the roads and taking to the skies on the busiest holiday travel day of the year. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

CHICAGO (Reuters) - American Airlines is moving ahead with 19,000 employee furloughs on Thursday, Chief Executive Doug Parker said in a memo to employees on Wednesday.

U.S. airlines have asked the U.S. Congress to extend a $25 billion payroll support program that protected jobs until Oct. 1 for another six months but so far no agreement has been reached.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Sandra Maler