Airline furloughs begin as federal pandemic relief expires
U.S. airlines began furloughing more than 32,000 employees on Thursday after a federal prohibition on job cuts expired. American Airlines and United Airlines said that they could reverse the furloughs if Congress and the White House quickly agree to provide billions more in taxpayer help to the embattled airline industry. The White House included $20 billion for airlines in a $1.6 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal, moving closer to House Democrats' $2.2 trillion plan. Airlines and their unions are lobbying for money to keep workers on airline payrolls for six more months, through next March. They received $25 billion, mostly in cash, to pay employees through Sept. 30 in exchange for avoiding layoffs or furloughs.
Airline CEO: If you insist on not wearing a mask, we’ll insist you not fly with us -- from here on out
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has put out what some are calling an aggressive enforcement of mask-wearing on the company’s flights. ”If you board the plane and you insist on not wearing your mask, we will insist that you don’t fly Delta into the future,” Bastian told Today in an interview Wednesday. The CEO said the stance is one he’s taking in order to keep crew and passengers safe during the pandemic. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Delta flights have been booked to 60% of their capacity, Today reported after speaking with Bastian. “We’ve had some customers indicate that they have (an) underlying condition that makes wearing a mask dangerous for them,” Bastian said.
US will allow limited flights by Chinese airlines, not a ban
The Trump administration said Friday it will let Chinese airlines operate a limited number of flights to the U.S., backing down from a threat to ban the flights. The decision came one day after China appeared to open the door to U.S. carriers United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resuming one flight per week each into the country. United, Delta and American Airlines suspended flights to China before mid-March. Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines continue flying those routes. The Transportation Department announced Wednesday that it would prohibit all passenger airline flights from China no later than June 16.