American Airlines CEO: There is enormous bipartisan support for extension of payroll support program

A group of Republican senators supported the extension of the $ 25 billion US airline assistance program after warnings that market participants could be forced to cut tens of thousands of jobs if the government does not intervene..

Airline promotions yesterday rose sharply on this news, first reported by Reuters. American Airlines rose 9.5%. United Airlines climbs 4.6%, while Southwest Airlines gains 4.2%.

Senator-led initiative Corey Gardner and addressed to senators Mitch McConnell, Chuck Sumeru, as well as the Minister of Finance Steve Mnuchin, was the first public announcement of significant Republican-led Senate support for additional emergency funding for US airlines. 

Senators Marco Rubio, Roger Wicker, James Inhof, James Risch, John Cornin, Todd Young, Susan Collins, Martha Maxelli, Shelley Moore Capito and others who signed the letter pledged support for a new six-month extension of the $ 25 billion payroll assistance program, «to avoid layoffs and retain workers in the industry».

Airline officials and trade unions have long called on US lawmakers to provide new help to tackle the fallout from the pandemic that has strangled civil aviation for months..

«As air travel is expected to remain low in the near future, Congress should also consider provisions to support and provide flexibility for aviation industry players such as airports and manufacturing.», – the letter says.

On July 27, most members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter that also called for a six-month extension of the payroll assistance program, which they believe is critical to keeping the hundreds of thousands of workers employed in  aviation industry. This letter was signed by 195 Democrats and 28 Republicans.

In March, Congress allocated $ 25 billion to support the payroll fund for American passenger airlines, as well as $ 4 billion for freight carriers and $ 3 billion for airport contractors.. Most of these funds are non-refundable.

American airlines may receive another $ 25 billion of state support

Congress also approved $ 25 billion in concessional loans for passenger airlines. It should be noted that many representatives of the segment have not yet used this option..

Airline Executives Satisfied With Congress Efforts, As Union Leaders Press For More Help.

Sarah Nelson, the International President of the Flight Attendants Association (CWA), which represents nearly 50,000 flight attendants across 19 airlines, said the senators’ letter showed «overwhelming support for the bipartisan majority».

Airlines and labor unions warn mass layoffs could occur after existing bailout ends September 30. 

More than 60,000 American Airlines and United Airlines employees receive warnings that they are on the verge of termination.

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