Washington (March 16, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today issued the following statement after Airlines for America (A4A), a trade association representing carriers like United, American, and Delta, released its proposal for a $54 billion bailout package during the coronavirus pandemic. The airlines’ plan calls for an unprecedented $29 billion in direct grants, $25 billion in loans, and tax breaks to help the carriers deal with economic damage inflicted on their industry by the coronavirus.
“The coronavirus is severely hurting our economy, and financial assistance may be needed for some of our most impacted industries,” said Senator Markey. “But any infusion of money to the airlines must have some major strings attached – including new rules to prohibit consumer abuses like unfair change and cancellation fees; protections for front-line workers like flight attendants, pilots, and airport workers; special consideration for our smaller, regional carriers not represented by the major trade associations; and the development of long-term strategies and targets to reduce the carbon footprint of the airline industry. As our next coronavirus stimulus package is developed, I will demand these conditions be met before supporting any airline bailout.”