The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives met with airline executives.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke Friday with executives of the country’s major airlines, who are urging Congress to approve another $25 billion in aid to support tens of thousands of workers and not be forced to make layoffs, the sources said.
The airlines and unions are asking for six more months of aid under a bipartisan proposal for another $1.5 billion in relief from the coronavirus crisis.
The $25 billion in federal aid that airlines received when the pandemic began expires on September 30.
Without new aid, airlines like United Airlines and American Airlines are preparing to lay off about 40,000 workers on October 1.
In a letter to Congress this Friday, United CEO Scott Kirby acknowledged the serious impact the virus is having on the entire economy and argued that assistance now can help lessen the long-term impact and speed up recovery.
“The aviation industry is a key driver of the overall economy,” Kirby said in the letter, which was also signed by five union leaders.
While lobbying Washington, the airlines are also negotiating with employees to minimize the thousands of job cuts that would occur without more federal funds.
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