Statement from A4A CEO and President Nicholas E. Calio on the Passage of the American Rescue Plan

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.


Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.

A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at

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