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Airline industry official defends response to pandemic

White Houses
Airlines for America
American Airlines
United Airlines
the White House
The Associated Press
Harvard School of Public Health
Q. Airlines

Nicholas Calio


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Calio is a longtime Washington hand who served in two White Houses, and he is now the president and CEO of Airlines for America, or A4A, a trade group consisting of the largest U.S. passenger and cargo airlines.These days, Calio's time is taken up lobbying for billions of dollars in taxpayer relief that he says is necessary if the airlines are to remain strong enough to help the nation recover from the pandemic-caused economic downturn.The deadline for Congress and the Trump administration to approve that aid and avoid tens of thousands of furloughs was said repeatedly to be Sept. American Airlines and United Airlines went ahead and furloughed 32,000 workers between them, but both say it's not yet too late — they could reverse those cuts and bring people back to work if Republicans and Democrats in Washington can agree on a pandemic-relief measure.The airlines are looking for second helpings. The airlines, they say, should have saved more money when they were making record profits instead of spending heavily to buy back their own stock, a strategy that helped shareholders.Calio recently spoke with The Associated Press about the campaign for more federal aid, the outlook for the industry, and whether any U.S. carriers will file for bankruptcy protection because of COVID-19. What we need to do is get back up to some number -- lower than what we were – to make these companies profitable and viable or at least on a break-even basis.Q. To come back to Washington, what’s it going to take for Republicans and Democrats to agree on a deal that includes money for airlines?A.

As said here by DAVID KOENIG AP Airlines Writer