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U.S. airlines participating in Reuters Senate surveillance hearings

© Reuters. File Photo: On November 8, 2021, American Airlines will take a taxi at the tarmac from JFK International Airport in New York, USA, with the New York City skyline in the background. REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz / File Photo

David Shepherdson

Washington (Reuters)-US airlines will attend Senate surveillance hearings on the industry this month, the aviation industry group said Friday. ..

The Senate Trade Commission has invited the CEOs of seven major US airlines to testify at the upcoming December 15 hearing.

“U.S. airlines are looking forward to joining,” said industry group Airlines for America (A4A) in a statement, but the Commission’s chairman, Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell. At the request, he did not specify whether the CEO would testify.

Cantwell is American Airlines (NASDAQ :), Delta Air Lines (NYSE :), Southwest Airlines (NYSE :), United Airlines, JetBlue Airlines (NASDAQ :), Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines (NYSE :) Reuters reported this week to make an appearance.

A4A said the airline is looking forward to continuing to work with Kantwell and Senator Roger Wicker, the Commission’s top Republican, on “on the problems facing the U.S. aviation industry.” ..

“I would encourage them to appear,” Kantwell told CEO Reuters Wednesday. “I think it’s malicious not to show up …. the public deserves to know some answers.”

“This was a lot of money, so I’m going to play the role of director,” Kantwell added. Many of these CEOs are expected to be in Washington to attend the A4A meeting on the day of the hearing, officials said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, US and airlines around the world were hit hard by the decline in business and tourist travel. From March 2020, as a result of the pandemic, Congress approves a total of $ 54 billion in three rounds of taxpayer relief to cover most of the salary costs of U.S. airlines through September 30 this year. bottom.

Lawmakers said that the voluntary acquisition of employees offered by airlines has caused operational problems for some airlines, despite receiving salary assistance, and hundreds of flights in recent months. Want to know if was canceled.

Leaders of the US House of Commons Transport Board have individually asked A4A to answer questions about government salary assistance received by carriers.

Commission Chairman Peter Defazio of the Democratic Party and Congressman Sam Graves, the panel’s top Republican, have asked A4A to answer questions about headcount reductions, despite taxpayer support. I asked.

In a letter released late Thursday, De Fazio and Graves were asked about the turmoil of two major US aircraft carriers in recent months, which, despite congressional support, “workers in major operational areas.” I asked if it was the result of “insufficiency”. ..

“Airlines are hoping to take all available steps to remedy the problem of staff shortages and begin addressing long-term labor shortages,” the two lawmakers wrote.

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have had some high-profile issues in recent months, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

According to A4A, COVID-19 reduced air travel demand by 96% in the early stages of last year’s pandemic.

“The industry is in survival mode, and (the support program) was important to enable US airline employees to continue to work, be ready, and continue to provide essential services. “The group said.

“The operational disruptions experienced by some carriers have nothing to do with federal support,” he added.

Government-backed airlines were not allowed to issue involuntary furloughs or reduce workers’ wages. We also had to limit executive compensation and stop stock repurchase and dividend payments.

U.S. airlines participating in Reuters Senate surveillance hearings U.S. airlines participating in Reuters Senate surveillance hearings

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