Head of US airline union asks Congress to extend financial aid

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On January 28, 2021, the head of Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) urged Congress to extend the financial support program for airlines in the United States, as passenger demand continues to negatively impact the aviation sector due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

“Congress has to act fast for real relief. The emergency relief that came late in December was critical, but it was just ‘a down payment,’ a ‘bridge to real relief’,” the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), representing 20 airlines’ workers, Sara Nelson, said.

In an effort to extend the payroll aid, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker also said its unions were talking to lawmakers about more financial aid for the cash-strapped airline sector once the current payroll support program expires on April 1, 2021, according to Reuters.  

On December 27, 2020, president Donald Trump signed a relief bill that provided US airlines with a $15 billion state aid. The $15 billion helped US airlines to recall furloughed workers and pay the employee wages and benefits. 

Airlines previously received $25 billion under the CARES Act in March 2020. The aid helped them to pay staff and avoid job cuts until October 2020.

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