The travel industry took a devastating blow when the pandemic began, and people have (mistakenly) questioned whether it would be able to recover and speculated that it would be years before we would finally recover. To help recover from it, the U.S. government is looking to provide some relief that could help us reach normalcy a little sooner. Congress recently approved the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 which provides COVID relief to eligible airlines.
The Act was introduced to provide a third stimulus to the industry to help prevent layoffs or cutting the salaries of current workers. This $1.9 trillion plan would be met with $14 billion more for eligible airlines and another $1 billion for air carrier contractors. Airlines that receive these funds will not be allowed to cut salaries or lay off workers through September 30.
THE IMPACT OF THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT ON AIRLINES
This new stimulus package has the potential to help the travel industry regain its previous vitality. With the goal of preventing layoffs, airlines will be able to continue to provide services to the growing number of travelers and help the industry contribute to the economy as a whole.
United Airlines and American Airlines were ready to layoff many of their employees, even after the second stimulus that went out last December, but now they don’t have to.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom sent out an announcement saying that 13,000 team members were given a warning about a layoff, but now they can disregard them.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told employees in an Instagram video, “If you have one of those WARN Act notices we sent out in February, tear it up. There aren’t going to be any furloughs at American Airlines in April and, with vaccinations on the rise, hopefully never again.”
United Airline’s CEO Scott Kirby issued a similar statement: “By extending [the payroll support program], our teams will be able to remain current in their training and ready to match expected future demand.”
Not only will the industry be able to stay afloat financially, it can continue to be a leading resource for eradicating COVID around the world.
Captain Eric Ferguson, president of the Allied Pilots Association, issued his own statement: “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, our airlines will be well-positioned to continue global vaccine distribution and drive economic recovery as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes. By investing in the airline industry’s future, Congress is making a vital investment in our nation’s future.”
Are you going to travel via air now that vaccinations are available and the airlines are still in operation? What are your thoughts on air travel in 2021? Share your ideas with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.