Release #: 20.16
June 17, 2020

Measures Needed to Expedite Airline Industry Recovery, Protect Frontline Aviation Workers

MCLEAN, Va.—In a letter today to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) outlined additional measures needed to ensure the economic recovery of the airline industry while providing important protections for frontline workers.

“This is a pivotal time for the aviation industry and as we take steps to stabilize the aviation economy and prepare to welcome back an increasing number of flyers during this summer travel season, some key measures should be taken to expand on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, protect public health, and provide additional aid to hardworking Americans as they weather this storm,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president.

In addition to mandating guidelines that will guarantee passenger health and safety, ALPA is calling for:

  • Extending the CARES Act worker support program or other financial instruments directed toward worker payroll and benefits beyond October 1 to ensure the stability of the airline industry and a robust rebound to passenger travel;
  • Ensuring health-care coverage for frontline workers, including COBRA subsidies for airline and other workers displaced as the result of industry downturn due to the pandemic;
  • Hazard pay for essential workers;
  • Bankruptcy code reform to provide protections to workers’ collective bargaining agreements, should companies seek to reorganize as a means to shed labor costs; and
  • Extended sick leave, unemployment benefits, and furlough mitigations related to COVID-19.

“We believe that taking some additional measures to further protect those who have been on the frontlines during the COVID-19 crisis will be key as we work together to rebuild our industry,” added DePete. “There is no question that airlines have made positive strides in enhancing public health and safety standards during this global pandemic, but absent a federal requirement, the current patchwork system will be increasingly stressed as more people return to flying. And returning to flying is exactly what ALPA wants—it’s good for the economy, it’s good for frontline workers, and it’s good for our airlines.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 63,000 pilots at 34 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.

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CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org