US Flight Attendants Call For Government Support Through January

The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) on Tuesday called for federal aid for airlines to be extended until January 31st, Susannah Carr, a United Airlines flight attendant, made the comments while testifying on behalf of the AFA in front of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure .

In her opening statement viewed Susannah Carr stated that:

“Although air travel is slowly picking back up, it is nowhere near the level that it was before the pandemic began. We will almost certainly need continued support after September 30th. That is why Congress must act now to continue the work the CARES ACT began. Payroll Support needs to be continued through at least January 31st. Supporting workers, like me, during a recession and ensuring we can continue to contribute not only as aviation’s first responders but as part of a recovering economy. Without an extension, mass layoffs are surely a certainty.”

Back in March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This bill allocated $25 billion in support for passenger airlines in the United States in the form of grants. Additional funding was available in the form of loans.

Airlines that receive the funding must use the money for paying their workers. This is why there have been no mass layoffs or furloughs from US airlines. Simultaneously, airlines had to continue to provide minimum levels of air service. Although there are limited minimum service exemptions, however, those provisions end on September 30th. From then on, people employed at US airlines are concerned about a near bloodbath as airlines shrink their workforce. Already, airlines are starting to indicate some numbers for layoffs and furloughs.

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