With $15 Billion in Federal Aid, Airlines Move to Bring Back Furloughed Workers

By Kurt Stolz on 22 December 2020
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The new LaGuardia Central Terminal building

The airline industry in the United States, which laid off 32,000 employees on October 1 when funding from the initial coronavirus relief act ran out, began to prepare to bring back furloughed employees, albeit on a temporary basis.

The $900 billion coronavirus aid package passed by Congress late Monday included $15 billion in payroll support for the airline industry.

Airlines said that the funding should enable many of the furloughed workers to return at least through March 2021.  Whether the employees will be furloughed again depends both on the demand for travel and any additional support offered by Congress next year.

“Our team members are the very essence of our airline,” said Doug Parker, American Airlines’ CEO, and Robert Isom, the airlines’ president, adding that the funding “will enable us to bring furloughed team members back to work and resume air service to cities and towns that rely on us  – all at a critical moment.”

Calling it “really good news,” Scott Kirby, United Airlines’ CEO, and Brett Hart, the airline’s president, said in a memorandum to employees viewed by Frequent Business Traveler that the airline “intends to offer temporary employment to thousands of our team members who were impacted on September 30.”

Airlines for America, an industry trade group representing major U.S. airlines, said that the industry and the country needed the measure, shortly after it passed the House and Senate.

The bill “will provide much-needed, comprehensive relief for our country,” said the group’s CEO, Nicholas Calio.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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