MIAMI- It has come to light that two US Republican senators have introduced legislation to support the US airline industry. The package proposed is worth US$29bn.

According to Senators Roger Wicker and Susan Collins, the aid would protect industry workers until the end of March 2021. Precisely, the decision comes amid around a total of 40,000 airline redundancies set for October as the CARES Act ends on September 30.

This Summer, American Airlines (AA) and United Airlines (UA) announced 19,000 and 16,000 layoffs, respectively. Additionally, ExpressJet said it would cease operations by the end of the current month.

Wicker remarked that the first aid package had successfully saved thousands of jobs, but there was a need for additional relief, as cited by the Washington Post.

The US$2.2tn CARES Act was approved by US Congress and President Trump in March 2020. Photo: GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Approval Time Running Out

In August, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows already said that the Trump Administration was considering executive action to help airlines. At the time, Meadows emphasized that Congress’ approval was the only thing missing.

Due process timelines, the new aid would have to make it through before the first package expires. However, Republicans and Democrats have not reached an agreement yet, and October 1 is a little over a week ahead.

While the CARES Act maintains airline jobs under a no-redundancies funding scheme, several dismissals will take place as of October 1. Alas, a second funding package could prevent more workforce losses only for at least six more months.

Featured photo: American Airlines aircraft parked. Photo: The Associated Press.