What Will Airline CEOs Discuss With Mike Pence Tomorrow?

Tomorrow, CEOs from United States-based airlines will meet with government officials at the White House. Here, executives are set to discuss with Mike Pence, the vice president of the US. The impact of coronavirus on the aviation industry is top on the agenda.

American Airlines, Shanghai, Beijing
Leadership representing US-based carriers will be preparing for important talks with the US government this week. Photo: Getty Images

Time for action

Live And Lets Fly reports that a strategy on how to deal with the outbreak of the virus will be discussed. Altogether, the government hopes to work alongside airlines to tackle the challenges that the disease is bringing.

Coronavirus is impacting the aviation industry in several ways. On the surface, airlines are continuing to cancel various flights to key destinations that have been overwhelmed by the outbreak. Most notably, many flights to China, Southeast Asia, Iran, and Northern Italy have been halted.

American and Delta Aircraft
Coronavirus is taking its toll on operators. Photo: Getty

Talking points

Primarily, carriers have canceled flights for safety reasons. However, since the outbreak has spread, firms have been forced to cancel further flights due to the drop in demand. Even services to areas that aren’t as heavily affected are starting to get canceled due to passengers changing their habits amid the unpredictable situation.

Therefore, the White House could be hosting the meeting to discuss contingency plans. Previously, The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) shared that coronavirus could cost carriers $5 billion. With operators already feeling the billion-dollar hit from the 737 MAX saga, further damages could be detrimental if not handled right.

Additionally, airlines have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their staff and passengers. So, officials may be looking to talk about plans to help contain the spread.

The US government is evidently putting measures in place to help deal with the spread of coronavirus. From implementing airport testing to meeting with influential corporations, it’s showing its intent to take on the outbreak.

VIP only

This isn’t the first time that the White House has hosted a group of airline CEOs within the last year. In July, Donald Trump hosted CEOs from the likes of American Airlines and United Airlines for dinner.

Oscar Munoz
Oscar Munoz has another important meeting to attend before he steps down as United CEO. United Airlines

There was also a special invitee at last summer’s event in the form of CEO Akbar Al Baker from Qatar Airways. Delta CEO Ed Bastian did not make the event, causing several rumors to spread about the reasoning of his no-show. However, he is set to attend the important meeting this Thursday, along with his counterparts.

It is good timing to organize the meeting as the CEOs will already be in Washington D.C. to speak at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit on Thursday. We will no doubt hear more of how the firms are planning to deal with the growing outbreak after their appearances in the US capitol.

Simple Flying reached out to some of the airlines that are reported to be meeting at the White House this week. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What do you think will come from this meeting? Do you think it will lead to a constructive way to deal with the impact that coronavirus is having on global aviation? Let us know what your thoughts are m of the situation in the comment section.