An American Airlines Inc. McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft stands in front of a gate as a United Continental Holdings aircraft descends the runway at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Republican senators tabled a bill Monday to provide more than $ 28 billion in additional aid to the ailing aviation industry as airlines stand ready to cut more than 30,000 jobs as early as next month.
Airlines have struggled throughout the coronavirus pandemic, posting billions in losses, while a significant spike in demand for travel has not yet occurred.
Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, chairman of the trade committee, and Maine Senator Susan Collins, chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees transportation, put the legislation in place 11 days before the job cuts as part of a relief package that workers will receive by later this month protects.
Congress approved $ 32 billion in March for passenger airlines, freight carriers and contractors on condition that a set level of air service is maintained during the pandemic and no jobs or wage rates are cut by September 30.
Airline CEOs and unions have urged lawmakers and Trump administration officials to add additional help to a new national coronavirus relief law, a provision that was endorsed by both parties. But Congress and the White House have repeatedly failed to reach an agreement, and industry workers and executives are concerned about the lack of additional relief as demand for air travel is still below a third year-on-year level.
“We appreciate the continued broad, bipartisan support from our team members and our industry in Congress, and appreciate the willingness of these Senators to take steps to avoid upcoming vacation days and flight service cuts when the Payroll Support Program expires next week” said American Airlines in a written statement. American estimates that around 19,000 employees will be laid off or laid off by next month, more than any other US airline. United Airlines said it would have to cut about 16,000 jobs, but a tentative agreement has been made to avoid vacation days for nearly 3,000 pilots. Union pilots started voting on this cost-cutting plan this week, which would mean reducing flight schedules.
Southwest Airlines expects to avoid downsizing this year, thanks to thousands of workers who have accepted takeovers and leave of absence. Delta Airlines also expects vacations to be largely avoided with the exception of more than 1,900 pilots, although talks are underway with their union to avoid these cuts.
Funding for the additional help would come from $ 11 billion in new aid and more than $ 17 billion in funding and loans that were not used in the last bill, Wicker and Collins said in a statement.