US Senate Not Expected To Provide Aid To Airlines

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A United States Senate Republican coronavirus spending proposal is being introduced today. However, the initiative will not include any further government assistance for airlines or airports in the country.

Delta Air Lines
There will be a vote on the proposal on Thursday. Photo: Getty Images

Time is running out

The introduction of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in March gave a lifeline to tens of thousands of airline workers across the country. The bill offers security for employees with the promise that there won’t be furloughs at least until the start of October.

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However, many airlines and their staff would not have expected the global health crisis to be still taking its toll on the aviation industry so significantly. Several travel restrictions remain in place. Moreover, the United States is continuing to try and get on top of the pandemic.

It will soon be six months since the CARES Act was passed, and the terms will expire at the end of the month. So, staff across the aviation industry would be hoping that there would be some sort of extension to their security. However, these workers will have to wait a little longer for confirmation on a new deal.

Reuters reports that the new Senate Republican coronavirus spending package proposal does not involve airline aid. There is also no inclusion of airport financial support. The previous bill covered $25 billion for carriers to cover payroll and $10 billion in airport assistance.

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United Airlines was glad that it had financial support to cover payroll. Photo: Getty Images

Recovery will take a little longer

Amid concerns of the future of the workforce, the members of two large unions representing flight attendants are looking to march outside Washington D.C. tomorrow. They are also calling for additional relief heading into fall.

Altogether, until an effective vaccine is introduced, COVID-19 will continue to have a considerable impact on society and the economy. Several healthcare companies estimate that initial phases of the vaccine’s introduction could be ready by the start of 2021. So, if there was an extension to relief programs by another six months, it could be enough to leave workers with security until the aviation industry is ready to expand again comfortably.

Alternatively, if there will not be some level of financial support, there should be new measures to help mitigate the damage. US airlines have already shown that they are taking health seriously across their operations with several safety measures.

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So, if there can also be trust to reduce border restrictions with some countries that are currently on the coronavirus blacklist, there would be less need to let go of many of the potentially furloughed employees. Initiatives such as PCR testing and quarantines could provide a better balance than outright banning general foreign travelers from the likes of the European Union and China.

American Airlines 777-200
Tens of thousands of American Airlines workers have been warned that their job could be at risk. Photo: Getty Images

A lot at stake

Republicans and Democrats have been debating about how to best handle support for the airline industry going forward. Nonetheless, 35,000 workers from just American Airlines and United Airlines could lose their jobs if there isn’t any additional support. Therefore, there would also be thousands of more job losses across the industry.

President Donald Trump has spoken of the prospect of aid to the aviation market without congressional action. However, authorities said last week that the administration has yet to confirm on an approach. The industry will be keeping a close eye on how the government progresses with talks in the next few weeks.

What are your thoughts about the current situation with aid for airlines and airports? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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