Statement from A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio after the Signing of the CARES Act
March 27, 2020
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2020 – On behalf of U.S. airlines and our 750,000 employees, we applaud President Trump for signing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes provisions intended to assist the U.S. airline industry to continue making payroll and protect the jobs of pilots, flight attendants, gate agents, mechanics and others. President Trump and Vice President Pence continue to demonstrate unwavering leadership during this global health crisis and take decisive action to protect the American people.
U.S. airlines were among the first industries to feel the economic impacts of the pandemic and will be key to our country’s recovery. The Direct Payroll Assistance provisions in the CARES Act are designed to provide immediate financial relief that is necessary to continue funding the payrolls of U.S. airlines. We remain hopeful that the federal government will expeditiously release these funds with as few restrictions as possible to ensure airlines are able to utilize these provisions and meet our payroll.
The impact of government- and business-imposed travel restrictions and public fear have devastated the U.S. airline industry, our employees, travelers and the shipping public. Since the beginning of March, U.S. air carriers – both passenger and cargo – have seen their positions of strong financial health deteriorate at an unprecedented and unsustainable pace. The human, financial and operational impacts are devastating, and the future remains uncertain.
We appreciate the President’s swift signing of the CARES Act, which signals a positive step toward economic recovery for our industry and our nation.