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Airlines for America Applauds US Government for Relief Package



Airlines for America (A4A) lauded U.S. Congress and the Trump administration for reaching agreement on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in a statement from A4A President and CEO Nicholas Calio on Thursday.

The $2 trillion stimulus package passed by the Senate this week sets aside $58 billion for U.S. airlines split between loans and payroll grants. The industry has been reeling in recent weeks since the U.S. and other governments around the world began implementing strict travel bans and restrictions in an ongoing effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Although the TSA reported 239,234 travelers nationwide on Wednesday, that figure pales in comparison to the 2,273,811 people who passed through security checkpoints on the same day last year.

“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,” said Calio.

“The Direct Payroll Assistance provisions in the legislation are designed to provide immediate financial relief that is necessary to continue funding the payrolls of U.S. airlines,” he added. “During the current health crisis, air carriers have been doing everything possible to protect the 750,000 jobs of men and women who are directly employed by U.S. airlines—including pilots, flight attendants, gate agents and mechanics—as well as the 10 million jobs supported by the industry.”

A4A said that the nation’s airlines are currently burning through cash as cancellations far outpace new bookings and planes are flying at only 10-20 percent of capacity. “New bookings are showing 80-90 percent declines in traffic even as airlines make dramatic cuts in capacity,” Calio said. “This situation is getting worse each day with no end in sight.”

“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 trade group concluded by encouraging the House to “swiftly” approve the legislation swiftly so the President can sign it into law and economic recovery can begin.

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Airline News

Airline In-Flight Magazines Are Latest To Go



Airlines have trimmed as many expenses as they can after being decimated by the global coronavirus pandemic, including big-ticket items like parking planes and cutting capacity to, seemingly, low-priority expenses like food and beverage.

Now comes the latest cutback.

According to the aviation blog The Points Guy, four of the top five U.S. airlines have removed their inflight magazines from seatback pockets.

And it might not have been solely the choice of the airlines.

Delta, for instance, removed its Sky magazine and said the decision was based on a new aircraft cleaning process. Like many airlines, Delta has gone with a fogging disinfectant in the plane.

But Sky magazine is published privately by MSP Communications, and several staff writers say they’ve been laid off in the wake of Delta’s decision.

Southwest Airlines has also put Southwest: The Magazine on hold, after publication of the March 2020 issue. At its peak, the magazine had 5.5 million readers and Southwest is “working around the clock and will follow up with next steps regarding the Southwest: The Magazine soon,” a company spokesperson told The Points Guy.

Alaska Airlines is not publishing an April or May issue of its Alaska Beyond magazine.

As for American Airlines, its American Way magazine was placed in seatbacks for April. Michael Keating, CEO of Ink Global, which publishes American Airlines’ American Way magazine and United’s Hemisphere magazine.

“The April edition of American Way was boarded as usual and American is 100% committed to all the titles that we produce (American Way, Nexos and Celebrated Living),” he said. “Whilst of course pagination and print runs will vary, we are planning future issues as normal. The same goes for Hemispheres, though we will be skipping the May issue as United passenger numbers will be down. We are currently working on the June issue of Hemispheres and beyond.”

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