Republican senators introduce $28 billion addition aid bill for airline industry to prevent job cuts
Republican Senators have introduced a bill that would give airline industry across the U.S. additional aid that is worth more than $28 billion amidst carriers’ plan to cut about 30,000 jobs by October next month.
The bill introduced on Monday September 21, 2020, by the chairman of the Commerce Committee, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee overseeing transportation, Sen. Susan Collins, was to protect workers who are currently under an aid package that ends by the end of this month.
According to Wicker and Collins, the funds would come from $11 billion in new aid and from the last bill unused $17 billion for funding and loans.
Meanwhile, as airlines continue to accrue losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, the industry CEOs have solicited additional aid from the government and have equally urged lawmakers and officials to include the aid in the new coronavirus relief bill.
Despite the bipartisan support, the provision has got, Congress and the White House have yet to reach an agreement even as travel demand continue to plummet causing the industry to wallow through the financial hardship.
As there seems to be no hope in sight, American Airlines expects to layoff about 19,000 employees beginning from next month if no aid is offered.
Speaking about the situation, the American Airline in a statement said, “We’re grateful for the continued show of broad, bipartisan support in Congress for our team members and our industry, and we appreciate the willingness of these senators to take action to avoid imminent furloughs and air service cuts when the Payroll Support Program expires next week.”
Similarly, United Airlines has said that it might be forced to cut about 16,000 jobs, should new aid fail to materialize. It has however reached a deal to avoid such condition that would see about 3,000 pilots being furloughed.
South West Airline would not be expecting to cut jobs as thousands of its workers have accepted leaves of absence and most importantly the employee buyout that would see workers hold their jobs throughout this year.
Delta Airlines is also doing everything possible to avoid job cuts and furlough of nearly 1,900 pilots as it currently holds talks with the unionized pilots.
Meanwhile, in March, about $32 billion in aid was approved by the Congress to help passenger airlines, cargo carriers and contractors maintain their air service and prevent job cuts through the end of September.