Statement from A4A CEO and President Nicholas E. Calio on the Passage of the American Rescue Plan
March 10, 2021
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2021 – On behalf of our member carriers, Airlines for America (A4A) applauds the U.S. Congress for passing the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which includes provisions to extend the highly successful Payroll Support Program (PSP) that has been vital to preserving the jobs of the U.S. airline industry’s hardworking employees – flight attendants, pilots, mechanics, gate agents and others. We are deeply appreciative of Congress’ continued support of our employees, who are our industry’s greatest resource and a critical component of the overall U.S. economic recovery.
We are grateful for the bipartisan, bicameral dedication to preserving the jobs of tens of thousands of U.S. aviation workers through the Payroll Support Program. We are especially thankful for the continued support in the Senate from Leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell and Ranking Member Roger Wicker, and in the House from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio and Ranking Member Sam Graves.
U.S. airline employees have worked tirelessly to provide essential services throughout the COVID-19 crisis, including transporting vaccines, medical equipment, personnel and supplies. These men and women are the backbone of our industry, and they are an integral part of our nation’s infrastructure. It is vital to have our employees on the job and ready to assist as our nation prepares to move forward from this crisis and resume connecting communities, families and businesses across the country and around the world.
This global health crisis has had an unprecedented impact on the U.S. airline industry. At its lowest point, passenger volumes were down 96 percent to a level not seen since the dawn of the jet age. Today, passenger volumes remain down nearly 60 percent, carriers are operating 40 percent fewer flights than this time last year, net booked revenue is down 74 percent and U.S. passenger airlines are burning an estimated $150 million of cash per day.
We appreciate the Administration’s work on this legislation, and we urge President Biden to act swiftly to sign the ARP into law.