Airline Industry Wants Second Round of Federal Aid

In March, the airline industry agreed to suspend job cuts through Sept. 30 in exchange for a significant chunk of the federal CARES Act stimulus package, eventually accepting a total of $32 billion in grants and loans as the industry was being decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, as that Oct. 1 date looms when carriers can issue layoffs and furloughs to employees, and with demand for travel still off almost 80 percent compared to last year, airlines are hoping for a second round of aid.

The industry has asked for an extension of the monies it has already received to maintain jobs, avoid layoffs, and build itself back toward profitably, according to CNBC.

As Congress mulls another aid package for all Americans, airline CEOs and industry leaders led by Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, along with a host of union chiefs, are asking lawmakers to approve more aid.

Airlines Reporting Corp. noted that ticket sales last week were down 79 percent from the same period last year. COVID-19 positive cases are spiking in several tourist-heavy portions of the country, such as Florida and California. And states like New York and Connecticut have instituted a 14-day quarantine order for anybody who enters their respective states.

Parker was in Washington last week to lobby for the increase, while Kelly told employees in a message on Friday that he was “personally involved in delivering that message to our federal leaders. Without customers and places and events for them to fly to, we’ll never punch our way out of this crisis.”

United has warned employees about impending furloughs, as has American.

Kelly said last month that Southwest has no intention of resorting to layoffs come Oct. 1.

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