United and American Airlines CEOs, Rep. Davis hold press conference on coronavirus relief
Okay, sorry about that, and, again welcome, uh thank you for being here, we have a number, of members of congress who are here with us that we'd also like to thank. Um. For being here and for all their support. Uh we have a mark a remarkable, gathering today, you have ceos. Of leading u.s airlines. Standing, united, here, with leaders, of our workers. With a single united message for the congress. Save our jobs, and save our jobs today. We've been making the case of the need for that. Over time, we need to see that come together. The industry's, in dire straits. At one point, traffic passenger, traffic was down 96, percent. It's now down 70, percent, still. One-third, of our planes, are parked. Not flying. And we are losing, five billion dollars, a month. We have great bipartisan. Bicameral, support in the congress. We have the support, of the administration. Everybody, says they want to see an extension, of the payroll support, act, it was the most successful. Part. Of the cares act. It needs to be extended we need more than words though. We need action and that's what we're asking for today. We want people to understand. The degree, and amount of human suffering. And emotional, current. Uh, economic, carnage that's going to occur. Next week, if there is an action. Uh. Hundreds. Tens of thousands of jobs. Service cut to, communities, of all sizes. It's inevitable. So, the clock has been ticking, it continues, to tick. Please act now, i'm going to turn it over to bob martinez, the international, president. Of the international, association, of machinists. Thank you. Thank you very much and good afternoon. The iem, is the largest, airline union in the world. The i am represents, more than 110. 000 workers. In the airline, industry in the united states. Our members load your bags. They check you in at the ticket counter. And they perform, maintenance, to make sure that your flights, are safe. Daily. Put simply, we make america, move day in and day out. Even during a pandemic. Tens of thousands, of our members. And hundreds, of thousands, more throughout the airline industry. Will lose their job. On october, october, the first. If congress, doesn't, act. Now. We need a clean extension, of the airline, payroll support, program. Through march the 31st. 2021. And we need it, now. This isn't about me or any of the people standing, around me. At the podium, today this is about. Members. Out in the field like tony valentine. A wife of five. Who supports, her family. As a united, airlines. Reservation. Agent. In. Detroit. This is about throwing hundreds of thousands, of more workers. On the unemployment. Lines. And shutting off any hope. Of making, any economic. Recovery. In the near future. Remember. Airline, workers. Not only physically, move our economy. They are also, consumers. And taxpayers. Who support, small, businesses. Tony. From detroit. And thousands, more like her. Are counting on congress. To take action. Now. You know. This is one of the few things that both parties. Can actually agree upon. We have a majority, bipartisan. Support in both the house. And the senate. And the white house. To pass a clean extension. Of the airline, payroll, support. Program. The payroll, support, program, has kept. Hundreds, of thousands, of airline, workers. On the payroll. And with health care benefits, benefits. Since its passage, in the cares act. Unfortunately. That time runs out in just, eight days. And air travel continues, to be far below. The levels it was, that were expected, in two night, 2019. The experts, tell us. We aren't likely to see a recovery, in the airline, industry until after the fourth first quarter. In 2021. But in the meantime. We cannot. We must not abandon, the men and women. Who are critical, to the recovery. As a nation. We will need. The full force. Of our airline, workers. To lift our country, back up. When america, is ready to fly, again. Please, pass. A clean extension. Of the airline, payroll, support, program. Now. We owe it, to our nation's airline, workers. Who have already. Served us bravely. Through these most difficult. Times. Thank. You. Thanks sir i'm doug parker ceo of american airlines, uh thank you all for being here. The group you see in front of you, is keenly aware, of the high stakes of this moment of time.
For Our nation and for our federal government. We recognize, the huge loss that comes. With the passing, of justice. Ruth bader ginsburg. And we understand. That the attention of congress, is trained on commemorating, her remarkable, life and legacy. And determining, a path forward. For the seat on the court that is now vacant. But we all know that is far from the only challenge our country's facing. We're here today with a message. Of urgency. There's now strong bipartisan, support. For extension of the payroll support program. But if congress, can't come together. On a mechanism, by which to extend, psp, by october 1st 8 days from the day. Small communities will lose air service. And 19, 000 american airlines, aviation, professionals. Will be furloughed. We simply cannot let that happen. Airline, employees keep our country moving. At a time when much of the world is paralyzed, with fear. And so long as we keep these hard-working, aviation professionals, trained and employed. They will be here ready to help our country, and our economy, rebound. From this economic, crisis. Now, everyone, seems to understand, that now. Which is why we have such strong bipartisan, support. I just can't believe. That we name we may not be able to do the right thing. Simply because, our elected officials. Can't come to any sort of compromise, agreement. We're better than that. And the people that are out there putting their uniforms, every day putting their uniforms, on every day. Keeping our country moving safely. During this pandemic. They deserve our best. So we're not going to give up. It's time for congress to come together and do what they know is right. Figure out a mechanism, to extend, the payroll support program. Thank you very. Much. Good afternoon, everyone, i'm julie hedrick. I'm the national, president, for the association. Of professional, flight attendants. And i represent, 27. 000 american airlines, flight attendants. I'm here today on behalf. Of the 8, 000. Furloughed, american, airlines, flight attendants. As well as all the other aviation, workers. Who will lose, their paychecks. And their health care. In eight, days. Today. Labor leaders. And airline, leaders. Stand, together. And urge, congress. To prevent, this devastating. Job loss from happening. We need a clean extension. Of the payroll, support, program. Through march. 2021. Every day, i hear from flight attendants, and they are trying to figure out, how they are going to survive. Without their paychecks. And especially, without their health care. We, are the essential, workers, who have been flying. Throughout this entire. Pandemic. They are, desperate, for congress to take action on this, now. When aviation. Struggles. It's not just, about the airlines. It's about the. Small, communities. It's also about the other industries, that, that depend on aviation. They will also, suffer. Millions. Of americans. Will be, directly, affected. By the if the airline, industry, is not kept, strong. We appreciate. The congressional. Bipartisan. Support. But now it's time, to seal the deal. And get this done. Thank you all, i'm scott kirby, ceo, of united airlines. It speaks to the severity, of the crisis that i can thank, my fellow ceos. Union partners. And our elected representatives. Particularly. Chairman defazio, and ranking member graves. For being here with us today, it's unusual, to see a group united like this. I'm here on behalf, of the 100, 000 people of united airlines. Who are essential workers, who from the beginning, of the pandemic. Have been on the front lines of the crisis. Back in march and april, when none of us knew it was going to happen and most of us were sheltering, at home, they were getting on airplanes. And carrying sometimes, two or three people, that were medical professionals, to the hot spots in new york and new jersey, they were flying airplanes, to china. And bringing back personal protective, equipment, and medical gear. And, what congress, did and the administration, did back in march, was remarkable, effort to save the us economy. And to save, aviation. But this is taking longer, and is deeper, than most people expected, six months ago, and the reality, is we need to do more, to keep those professionals, employed. And to keep their support. For the economy, intact. Because, it's not just about the tens of thousands of people whose jobs are at risk, that's important, but it's also about the indirect, jobs that all of them support. We are a critical, cog, for the economy. We're a multiplier. Effect. And, we will ultimately, defeat this virus and when there's a vaccine. And when the economy, is ready to, bounce back to full normal.
We Need these aviation, professionals, to be here, to support, that robust, rebound. For the entire, economy. That's why we're here today. Imploring. Those in congress, those in the in the administration. Everyone here in washington. To do the right thing that's something we're fond of seeing at united airlines, when we have a difficult, question. Just do the right thing. Everyone, agrees, as the others have said, that the right thing to do both sides of the aisle, is to extend the payroll supports, program, through march, if we can do that we ought to be able to get that done. We can save these jobs, keep those critical links for the economy, going, and be prepared, to bounce back strongly. When we ultimately, defeat the virus, thank. You. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for being here. My name is uh captain joe depete, and i'm the president, of the airline, pilots association, international. And i'm proud to represent. Over 63. 000, pilots, who fly for 35, u.s, and canadian, airlines. And i i'd like to begin, today, by acknowledging. The loss. That our nation. And our union felt at the passing, of supreme court justice. Ruth bader ginsburg. She was a towering, advocate, for equality. Among workers. And the dignity of work for all. I'm here today. To remind everybody. That time is running out for congress. And the administration. To act. And save the jobs of frontline, aviation, workers across, this country. Including, thousands of members. The airline pilots association. In only a few days. The cares act payroll, support, program. Will expire. If that happens. Aviation, workers will be out on the streets. And on the unemployment, lines, through no fault of their own. This harm. To front-line, workers. Is entirely. Avoidable. I want to emphasize, that it's entirely. Avoidable. And it's in our national, interest. To prevent it. Airline, pilots need congress, and the administration. To extend. The payroll support, program. And we believe. That there's still time to get that done. The stakes. Are high obviously. We must do this. Failing to extend the payroll support program will not only result, in severe, financial, hardships.
For Tens of thousands, of aviation, workers. And their families. But it will also threaten the airline industry's. Broader, contributions. That they bring to this nation. After all u.s airline, industry workers. Help drive the u.s economy. They support, the us military. Transport. American, goods and services. And provide essential, air service. To small. And mid-sized, communities. Allowing thousands of aviation, workers. To lose their jobs will also have, long-term, consequences. When the economy, recovers, and and it will recover. We won't be able to simply, flip or switch, and bring highly trained pilots, flight attendants, back. Online, overnight. It takes time to retrain, them and prepare, them to maintain. Our industry's. Highest. Standards, of safety. Simply put. October. Is too late. November. Is way too late. Airline worker relief. Doesn't work, retroactively. And congress, must act now. We've heard encouraging, words about, a relief package from the u.s government leaders on both sides of the aisle that's good news, but airline pilots and other aviation, workers. Need more, than words. We need action, we need it quickly. Airline pilots have done our part to help this nation, through this public health crisis, and helped our industry. Weather, an economic, storm. From the outside, onset, of the pandemic. Airline pilots have been on the job. Doing our jobs. Courageously. Taking risks. We've transported. Medical. Personnel, to outbreak, hot spots, and kept the global supply, chains moving. And, we're also contributing, to our industry's, recovery. Through alpha's, just announced, advertising. Initiative. Reminding, the public that, when they're ready to fly again. We are ready for takeoff. Now. Airline pilots, flight attendants, are doing our jobs, to speed the recovery, and our industry. And now we need congress, and the white house to do theirs. Thank you very much for your attention, appreciate it. Good afternoon, and uh thank you for being here today my name is robin hayes and i'm the, chief executive, officer. Of jetblue. A lot has been said but i'd like to give you, uh our perspective. You know we're based in, new york and i'm here on behalf of our 23, 000 amazing. Crew members. And as, all of you know. Nowhere, was touched deeper. Uh, than new york with the coronavirus. Pandemic. Back in march, our crew members were going to work. Scared, terrified. But also worried about their jobs and what was going to happen. They carried medical workers, into new york to deal with all the patients, in overflowing. New york hospitals. And they were there. For our country, and our airline and our industry. When most of us were sheltering, in place. They did their jobs. They did it at a sense of duty, and commitment. They did it for each other and every day they went home to their families who were concerned. About their safety. We didn't know a lot about the coronavirus. Then that we know now. And yet they stepped up and they did their job. So i'm here, with just one request. On behalf of 23, 000 jetblue crew members, who have done their job.
And We need congress, to do. Their job. We have bipartisan. Support. We have support from the white house, we have support from the democrats, we have support from the republicans. So our crew members sit there and say. We did our job, why can't they do their job. If we can't get this done. When there is agreement, what can we get done. You've heard all the arguments, why the airline, industry, is so important, for our country, and our nation, it is a huge chunk of. Gdp. And when we get into, next year and hopefully we start to seeing start seeing a. Proper recovery. We will be here, and our people will be here. People vote, for their elected, representatives. To go to washington, or go to their state house and do their job. We have 23, 000 jetblue crew members, who have done their job, we have all these amazing essential workers, other airlines, in the us, that have done their job, i'll say one more time, please. Congress. We need you to do your job and we need you to do it, now. Good afternoon, my name is captain eric ferguson i'm the president, of the allied pilots association, representing, the nearly 15, 000 pilots. Of american airlines. I want to start off by thanking congress and the administration. For their support. Back in march, leading, to a six-month, vital lifeline, for our industry as we, fought the pandemic, and learned more and more every day. Hope is on the horizon. But. We need more help to get, over that horizon. Whenever a crisis, arrives. In the air. We are forced to choose the correct procedure. We are forced to assess the amount of time we have to meet that emergency. And then we must execute, the procedure. Flawlessly. And decisively. That is what we are asking congress, to do in the administration, at this point we must act now. To prevent. Catastrophic. Damage, to our major, economic, engine, of the u.s airlines. Must act now. Choose the correct procedure, extend. The payroll support, program. And again i want to thank, very much i want to thank. Ranking member graves. And chairman defazio, for their incredible, support here we know we have support, across. The board for this we need to get it done, we need to get it done now we do not have enough fuel in the tanks, to fly on. For forever here we need congress to refuel, our tanks, keep us going, get us over the horizon. We are seeing progress, we can get there, but we cannot get there without the aid. Required, by the psp. With that, thank you very much for being here. Thank you. My name is sarah nelson, i'm president, of the association, of flight attendants. The beginning of this pandemic, representing, 50, 000 flight attendants at 20 different airlines. This. Is unprecedented. Industry. And unions. United, standing, in front of you. But, it is not unprecedented. In our work. Because, when. There is a crisis, in aviation. We always, come together. We always, put safety first. We always, learn from our mistakes. And make corrections, to make sure they do not happen again. In march. That's what we did together. With the leadership, of chairman defazio. In crafting, the payroll support, program.
We Made a program. That was, a relief, program. Not a bailout. It didn't just go to corporations. It was built from the ground up. The money was focused. On workers. Focused, on jobs. And there were certain requirements. That came with it. No involuntary. Furloughs. Continued. Service. To all of our communities. Carrying the u.s, mail. Carrying, critical, infrastructure, to our communities, critical personnel. To help fight this virus. Medicines. To our veterans. It also required, a cap, on executive, compensation. You're welcome guys. And a ban on stock buybacks. And dividends. There's been nothing like this in u.s history before but it's because this industry, came together. Heard the american, people, and said we're going to craft, a relief, package, that is like no other before. Keeping people, in their jobs. And that is why. The deadline, of october, first, is so critical. Right now. And it is why. You see. Such cooperation. And agreement. There is agreement. All, over washington. You see that with the representatives. Who are here with us today. Democrats. And republicans. And independence. All standing, together, all, saying that they support. Keeping, aviation, workers, in our jobs. And continuing. To support. All the economic, activity. And jobs, that are job support, as well. But support, is not enough. We are not going to hand out, participation. Trophies. We have eight days. Eight days, until this egg is scrambled. And we can't go back. We must, continue. The payroll support program that has been the most effective. Jobs program, of coronavirus. Relief. The most effective, use of the public's, money. And so on a balance, sheet. Everyone, agrees. Fiscal, conservatives. To progressives. Across, the spectrum. Everyone. Agrees. But this is not. A political, assessment, today. This is real, people. Moving their stuff into their cars and trying to figure out how to survive. This is a mother and a father who are both flight attendants, on the furlough list, with a special, needs son. Who are in jeopardy of losing their medical insurance, that takes care of, him. This is about the flight attendant who is on the furlough list again, she was on the furlough list after 9 11, and she's on the furlough list again, her husband, is waiting for a heart transplant. And if she loses her health insurance, they fall off the list. These are real people. And there is real agreement. All over this hill. And in the white house. There is no reason. That this should be delayed. A single. Day longer. This country, needs relief, now. We all come together, all the time, as americans, we come together, all the time, when the government, shut down a year ago. People came to our security, checkpoints. With kindness, in their heart, and offering, help to our transportation. Security, officers. Because, that's who we are as americans. And the airline, industry, is so important, that when a few planes, stopped. All of a sudden. This hill had a deal. We know. As union negotiators. And as heads of airlines. That when two parties want to reach a deal, it can come together, in a matter of hours. That is what we expect. Inaction. Is not an option. So i want to thank. The leadership. Of chairman peter defazio, of the transportation, and infrastructure, committee. And the leadership, of ranking members, sam graves. Who are here, today, together. To demonstrate. The agreement. All over this place we just have to get it done. Let's hear from chairman defazio. And ranking member. Graves. Well i said, uh, earlier. But i'm going to repeat it.
The Most, successful. Element, of, the cares, package. Was the payroll, support, program. That we ran. We used the airlines. Essentially, as the unemployment, office you know in my state. There are people who applied, in march. Gig workers, because they're a new category. They still haven't gotten their benefits, and my state is not unique. All across america. Americans. Are hurting. And we need things that work efficiently. To get them help, we need to extend the entire, cares package with elements from our heroes bill here in the house. And the point of the spear. Of getting this done. To get people to the table. Could, be, this, package. 100. 000 jobs, on the line. Predominantly, union jobs family, wage jobs. You heard the stories of what it means when those people lose, their jobs. 100. 000 people, in one. Day. That's a big hit, from coronavirus. So this package, with the bipartisan. Agreement. Could be the point of the spear. In getting our leadership, together. To negotiate. Cares, to heroes. I don't care what you call it. We have to do this package we have to extend, the federal, unemployment. Benefits, we have to support small business. We have to help the states. There's a long, list of things that need to be done. There's agreement, from all the economists, and the federal reserve. This needs to get done. And we're here today talking about a microcosm. Of that, 100. 000 people. And they face a really, really short, deadline. We have to get this done, before. October. First. And this could help. Millions. Tens of millions of americans. By being, the thing that got people to the table, and got the job done with that i'd like to introduce. Uh my partner, on this uh my friend, sam graves my ranking. Member. Thanks peter. Um, i want to echo everything that uh peter said. Um, this is uh this is vitally important to get done and folks this isn't i hear so much talk about this being an airline bailout, this isn't a bail out of the airlines this isn't as a result of bad, uh corporate decisions, or bad business decisions, this is as a result, of. Government. Decisions. And. This is something that it's imperative, that we see this uh this extension, done. You know, it comes to workers and that's what it comes down to as was pointed out. These are highly skilled positions. It takes, years. Of training. And hundreds of thousands of dollars. In many cases, to. Just to qualify, for many of the positions in the airline, industry.
We Absolutely, cannot, let an entire, sector, of the economy. Uh collapse and that's exactly what will happen, if we do not, uh if we do not get this extension, done, so thank you all very much. Again thank you all very much. Hopefully. You get the message. As my head of communication. Said. We've been saying this i said we've been saying this over and over again. And, she said, just about the time you think you're sick of saying it people might be starting to listen, so we hope that people are listening. This isn't availability. So we can take some questions, if you. Like. Um yeah, again. Yeah. The question is, if there's another plan if we don't get congress, act um that's the preferred plan, uh what we need is some mechanism, by which psp, to be extended. Um, and there there are several ways that can be done ideally it would be through a coveted relief bill, uh that's where our focus we're focusing our efforts. But if that doesn't work we'll we'll go anywhere else we can to try and figure out, any mechanism. Uh to get done what people want to get, what what everyone says they want to get done for us, so um, anyway this is this is by far the, the preferred option it's the most efficient option it actually helps all americans. Um so we think it's the best option. Um, and but, if, not we'll we'll look to other areas as well. I can answer your question for american we haven't we have indeed agreed to a loan from the u.s treasury department. As as. United. Uh, we'll make a decision on that in the near. Future. We all. Have been meeting with the leadership, regularly. The airlines, met last week with. Chief of staff meadows at the white house we went with the speaker. The following, day. There has been so much work that's been done we've been pounding on the same doors over and over again, what we need to do is have the people with whom we've been speaking. Sit down together, at a table and work out a deal, if you look at the figures that have been quoted by the speaker. And the, figures, quoted by the white house as the president express support. They're in a very narrow, range, i mean it's a compromise, waiting to happen, they just need to talk. Yeah. Yes, we're all meeting it's coronavirus. So much of it is by phone and zoom. But we're all meeting constantly. And engaged, with the offices, all the time. And, also. I should note that flight attendants, and other aviation, workers have been meeting. With congressional, representatives. In, their congressional, districts. In fact there was a large group outside. Of leader schumer's, office today. And have been outside.
Uh Senator, rubio's, office, in john cornyn's, office and corey gardner's, office and amy klobuchar's. Office, that's just in the last two days. That will continue. We will continue, to meet with them every which way we can in official, meetings with all of us. And their constituents. Will continue to hear directly. From. Them. Okay the question was um i said i suggested there are other looking to other alternatives i'm going to talk about other alternatives, prior to october 1st, uh on october 1st the furloughs happen. Um, there's. Those those are in place. Uh the individuals, know who they are uh they believe that's gonna happen we're doing anything you can make sure that absolutely does not happen. It'd be, a very, very. Uh horrific, event i think, if that happens given all the support, but, if we can't get this done by october 1st, i mean absent, absolute, certainty that will happen in the very near future. Um. Yeah those those thrillers happen on the 1st that's why that's the urgency we're talking about. Um. The question was. Uh we've got some leading airlines, here but there are other members. Is there uni. Unanimous, support, the answer is uh decidedly. Yes. Believe it or not we actually, of our membership. Five of them are having their own board meetings today. So, and believe me, they are all talking about it and talking about their support. For an extension. Of the payroll support act so i think we probably have time for one more. Question. The ceos. What do you say to those. Who think that this just delays, the inevitable. Until, april. That there will still be furloughs. At that point, and that this only stops the. Bleeding. Look i think one big important point for why. This, is that's not accurate, and, by the time we get to april, is that we're going to know. Far more about a vaccine, and when a vaccine, is available. The problem for us today is, that is so far over the horizon. That we put our whole companies at risk. If we don't do something in a world where our revenues are down 85, percent. And. By the time we get to march though, we'll even if we're not past the coronavirus, and there's a good chance we won't be past it by the end of march, but we'll have a lot more certainty and we'll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and know when we're going to be past it and then we can carry that risk, because we'll have more confidence, that within three months or six months, that we're going to be past it and so i think we'll be in a you know not for sure, but i think we'll be in a much different, position, come march 31st. Than we are today because we'll have more. Certainty. Testing before international, flights yeah i know you guys have supported, that in the past is that something that's still a continuing, conversation, where does that stand with the federal government. It is uh it's uh. The another, the issue is air bridges, uh, and creating air bridges to to start with international governments it'll be a great way to open up the borders, and begin to open. The economies, and reconnect. The, economies. The idea is that you would test, before you get on an airplane. So that you know that when you get there that you're safe and you don't need to go into, quarantine. Again it's another one of these items that we have, universal, support, i can't find one person here in dc. Or overseas. That opposes, it, but just getting it through. The bureaucracy. And getting it to be a fact. Is is the challenge that we face and if we could just get it started with one country. Right now, starting an air bridge between new york and london heathrow, is sort of top priority. Top of the list if we could do that. It could be a template. To open up much more, of the economy and air bridges around the world. There's no one that's opposed to it it's just, getting it over the finish. Line. Pete back to your question, i think it's very important that we remember that this is a jobs, program. So what we're talking about for the next six months, is hundreds of thousands of workers getting a paycheck. And keeping their health care. And we will be six months closer to a vaccine, six months closer to testing, regimen. Where we have, coronavirus. Under control but in the meantime, what we're talking about here. Is saving the jobs, of hundreds of thousands of people, and keeping them employed.
So This idea that we shouldn't do it because it's going to delay the inevitable. Is a really mean-spirited. Thing to say, to people who, are looking at losing their livelihood, and their ability to care for their families in the middle of a pandemic. We also have to remember that we're right in the middle of the crisis. Everyone, thought in march thought and hoped that we'd be in a different place. But we're not. We're still directly, in the middle of this crisis. And so we should continue, the most effective, jobs, program. Of coronavirus. Relief. And keep as many people strong, and able to take care of themselves, as possible. That's what, this is about. That's why we're all out here today, that's what we're going to stake it focused, on is saving those jobs and ultimately, saving real people. Thank you all very much for coming, we'll wrap it on that note thank. You. Hi mr. Parker.