As the rest of the American economy remains at a standstill, one industry has been struggling in particular: the airline industry.
According to numbers from the TSA, checkpoint travel numbers are down by more than 60 percent compared to this time last year. Thousands of airline workers have either been laid off or furloughed due to decreased traffic numbers. What was once a billion-dollar industry is now on life support.
The decrease has affected North Texas more than most. With American Airlines based in Fort Worth and Southwest Airlines headquartered in Dallas, the airline industry represents a significant economic impact on the area.
Because of this, airline labor unions and airline executives have been pushing the U.S. government for federal bailout dollars.
Dennis Tajer is a captain with American Airlines and the spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association. He said that Congress and President Donald Trump must pass an extension of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which would give the industry $25 billion in addition to the first $25 billion allocated in March. The original CARES Act is set to end by Sept. 30.
“Whatever move you make now will chart your course for the next year-plus,” Tajer said. “We’re having more and more people fly. Until and unless we get the vaccine, that pent up demand will be squandered if we don’t have the airlines ready to roll.”
The airline industry also represents