CEOs of major U.S. airlines are pleading with the White House and congressional leaders for more federal help, as more than 30,000 employees face leave within two weeks after the relief provided by the CARES Act expires.
Yesterday, the CEOs met with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. They are requesting an additional $ 25 billion in federal assistance that would prevent involuntary licensing until the end of next March.
In addition to jobs, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker is concerned that smaller communities in the US will be neglected after the CARES Act expires and airlines are no longer prohibited from cutting off service to certain areas. .
American Airlines announced in August that it will temporarily stop flying to dozens of cities in the fall. “So we are here to plead with everyone involved to get a COVID package by October 1,” Parker said.
A group of 16 Senate Republicans and more than 200 House members have voiced support for an extension of the payroll support program, but have yet to reach an agreement.
On Wednesday, Parker and unions representing American Airlines employees sent a joint letter to Meadows, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and House and Senate leaders, warning them that “there is no time to lose.”
Air travel is still only a fraction of what it was in 2019, and experts predict that it is unlikely that it will return to pre-pandemic levels before 2024. For example, United Airlines is only flying about a third of its frequencies compared to last year.