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Allied Pilots Association Thanks Senators for Introducing “Air Carrier Worker Support Extension Act of 2020”

FORT WORTH, Texas (Sept. 22, 2020) – The Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, thanks Senators Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Susan Collins of Maine for introducing the “Air Carrier Worker Support Extension Act of 2020.”

Also known as Senate Bill 4634, this legislation would extend the CARES Act’s Payroll Support Program (PSP) for airline workers through March 31, 2021, by providing $28.8 billion in assistance: $25.5 billion for passenger air carriers, $3 billion for airline contractors, and $300 million for cargo air carriers.

American Airlines management announced in August that it planned to furlough more than 17,000 employees – including about 1,600 pilots represented by APA – on Oct. 1. That is the earliest date any furloughs are allowed under the terms of the PSP.

“Senators Wicker and Collins understand that the airline industry is the engine of American economic growth and a vital component of our national security” APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson said. “Massive furloughs would catastrophically disrupt the capacity of the industry to help pull the economy out of its steep recession once COVID-19 is contained.”

Airlines for America estimates that every U.S. airline job generates more than 13 jobs outside the industry. So the 17,000-plus furloughs announced in August equate to more than 228,000 lost jobs – and that doesn’t take into account furloughs at other airlines. Many of these jobs are in small communities across the country that may see cuts in air service if the PSP is not extended.

“The senators have our gratitude for introducing legislation that will preserve the paychecks of thousands of hard-working American families,” Capt. Ferguson said. “Turning this bill into a law will be good for our industry, our economy, and our nation.”

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association — the largest independent pilots union in the United States — is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s website is AlliedPilots.org.

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