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Washington, DC, April 14, 2020 – The Regional Airline Association (RAA) issued the following statement today in response to the Department of Treasury’s Press Release announcing an agreement in principal for ten of the twelve air carriers Treasury has subjected to warrants. Treasury indicates Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Southwest Airlines have all reached an agreement in principle with Treasury.
RAA additionally confirms that two of its member airlines, both medium-sized regional airlines who are erroneously being considered major airlines because of the size of their payroll, are continuing talks. These regional airlines collectively employ nearly 10,000 FTEs and provide air service to dozens of communities not served by mainline air carriers. While they have applied for Payroll Assistance to protect their workers, they are working to secure the flexible participation terms to allow them to access the program created to support the U.S. airline workforce.
RAA President & CEO Faye Malarkey Black commented, “Despite our initial disappointment that these privately-held regional airlines are being considered mainline air carriers, we are encouraged by U.S. Treasury and its advisors’ responsiveness to getting to the goal set forth by Congress to ensure carriers of all sizes can maintain their workforce and uphold service to communities large and small.” Black continued, “We remain hopeful that Treasury will work rapidly and flexibly to find a solution for those carriers facing unique hurdles. The alternative would be catastrophic and, we hope, unacceptable to both Congress and Treasury.”
RAA further urged Treasury to work to get all grants, including those for smaller carriers not required to issue warrants as well as smaller cargo carriers, with the utmost speed. Black noted “While an agreement in principle for some carriers represents progress, all carriers—including those who are privately held and seeking alternative solutions—need grants now to avoid furloughs.”
Given the efforts thus far of Treasury officials and its consultants, RAA remains hopeful that fair and effective solutions can be found so all airline workers – whether their employer is large or small – can stand ready to support air travelers in communities large and small, when demand returns.
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) provides a unified voice of advocacy for North American regional airlines aimed at promoting a safe, reliable and strong regional airline industry. RAA serves as an important support network connecting regional airlines and industry business partners. In the United States, regional airlines operate 41% of scheduled passenger flights and provide the only source of scheduled air service to 63% of the nation’s airports. Notably, regional airlines provide over 70% of the air service in the following states: SD, MS, MT, ME, KS, AL, IA, WV, ND, AK, AR, ID, NE and WY.