American Air CEO ‘Confident’ U.S. Payroll Aid Will Be Extended

American Airlines Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said there’s sufficient time for U.S. Congress to agree on extending $25 billion in federal aid that would prevent layoffs for tens of thousands of airline workers on Oct. 1.

American will continue urging Congress to resolve a stalemate and approve the aid as part of a broader economic stimulus package, Parker said Sunday in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” The approaching deadline could spur action, he added.

“I’m confident” the payroll aid will be extended, Parker said. “There’s certainly not much time left, but there’s enough time. Often times, a deadline like this is what is needed to get action. We’re hoping that is the case.”

Layoffs would shrink the U.S. airline industry, seriously hampering its ability to rebuild service once demand, economy improve, he said.

Read:American Air Gets $5.48 Billion U.S. Loan in Upsized Deal

There’s been some increase in passenger demand, Parker said, echoing comments by several other carriers. Still, American expects third-quarter revenue to fall 75% from a year earlier, and drop 65% in the fourth quarter.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that there’s a chance she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin can still reach a deal on a coronavirus stimulus package, and that Democrats will unveil a new “proffer” shortly.

“Our plan is to get Congress and the administration to come together and get a relief bill passed,” Parker said. “There is enormous bipartisan support for it.”

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