Airlines for America (A4A) and the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) joined dozens of other organizations, unions and industry stakeholders in penning a letter calling on Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to quickly address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry.
The letter renewed calls for immediate financial assistance in order to protect and preserve the 11 million jobs U.S. commercial aviation either directly represents or supports.
“The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the government- and business-imposed restrictions on air travel are having never-before seen impacts on U.S. aviation and our employees,” states the letter. “The breadth and immediacy of the need to act cannot be overstated. It is urgent and unprecedented.”
The letter was also signed by the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC), Airport Restaurant & Retail Association, American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Cargo Airline Association, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and others.
“The downturn in demand for commercial air transportation and shipping related to COVID-19 is vast,” the letter notes. “For passenger carriers alone, net bookings for the next few months are down 100 – 200 percent, as cancellations are rapidly outpacing new bookings and trending worse each day. Carriers have been forced to remove flights from their schedules and make historic capacity cuts.”
The A4A had earlier in the week called for the U.S. government to provide more than $50 billion in immediate direct grants, interest free loans and tax relief.
The new letter says, “Even with instantaneous government action it is going to take a very long time to recover. This is a today problem, not a tomorrow problem. It requires urgent action, and the U.S. aviation industry wants to lead the way to economic recovery.”