American Airlines CEO ‘Confident’ Congress to Reach Deal on Federal Aid to Carriers

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Despite the looming threat of leave for the airline industry expected to begin at the end of this week, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said on Sunday he still hopes Congress can reach agreement on a new series. of coronavirus stimulus measures that would provide aid to the country’s air carriers.

“There is huge bipartisan support for this. We have Republicans, Democrats, the administration all saying – knowing this is the right program, that it makes sense, that it should indeed be extended because airline workers provide critical infrastructure Parker told CBS. “Face the nation. “We have everyone putting us in every bill they have, we just need the bills to be laws. We need laws, not bills. This is what we are going to do and I have no doubts that we can do it. ”

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Parker’s high hopes come as Congress has been deadlocked for more than a month due to additional stimulus measures, which has led many airlines to seek other alternatives to prepare for the worst as the federal government’s $ 25 billion bailout will expire on Oct. 1, which is when airlines can start laying off workers.

American said in a filing Friday that it had secured $ 5.5 billion in additional funds allocated under the CARES Act as it prepared to weather the pandemic without further stimulus, following an initiative similar from United. Meanwhile, competitor Delta Airlines has said it will turn down the CARES Act loan and mortgage its loyalty program, SkyMiles.

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UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.34,20+1,46+ 4,46%
OFDELTA AIR LINES INC.29,78+0,77+ 2,65%

Without the new round of stimulus, however, Parker warned that around 100,000 aviation workers are still inevitable in the industry, and that once those leaves have started, the ability to “continue to provide the necessary services. to pull the economy out of this situation is going to be severely hampered. ”

As President Trump floated around using an executive order to help airlines, Parker has said he would prefer the longer-term solution that would come from legislation passed by Congress.

“There’s definitely not a lot of time left, but there is enough time,” Parker said. “We just need them to come together and do what’s best for America and for our country and certainly for the airline industry. ”

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Parker’s call to action for a new stimulus deal comes as the struggling airline has seen “gradual improvement,” which it says can be accelerated by lifting coronavirus restrictions.

“A vaccine would certainly be very useful. But, you know, in between, the removal of quarantines, the companies that bring people back to the office, back to work, ”Parker said. “These types of things have a huge impact on the need for air travel. “

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AALGROUPE AMERICAN AIRLINES INC.12,29+0,52+ 4,42%

According to Parker, American revenue is expected to decline by about 75% in the third quarter and 65% in the fourth quarter.

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