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Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas Calio issued a statement today praising the Trump administration for its interest in supporting the U.S. airline industry as it grapples with the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Calio says President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. Transportation Secretary Chao, “have expressed a deep understanding of the devastating economic harm that is directly impacting U.S. carriers as a result of government – and business-imposed travel restrictions as well as the fear generated from the novel coronavirus pandemic. In the short span of two weeks, U.S. carriers – both passenger and cargo – have seen their positions of strong financial health deteriorate at an unprecedented and unsustainable pace. By all accounts, this situation is worse than the financial and operational impact caused by 9/11.”

Calio adds that carriers are currently burning through cash as cancellations far outpace new bookings for U.S. carriers, planes are only 20-30 percent full and new bookings are implying 70-80 percent declines in traffic even as airlines make dramatic cuts in capacity,”

“Amid this crisis, the U.S. airline industry is doing everything possible to preserve the 750,000 jobs of hard-working men and women who are directly employed by U.S. airlines, including pilots, flight attendants, gate agents and mechanics, as well as the 10 million jobs supported by the industry,” he says. “U.S. airlines are grateful to the president, vice president, Sec. Mnuchin and Sec. Chao for their ongoing support as we work to protect our employees, keep commerce moving and continue flying people and products across the globe.”