Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

U.S. airlines to participate in Senate oversight hearing

Stock MarketsDec 03, 2021 09:35PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: American Airlines planes taxi on the tarmac as the skyline of New York City is seen in the background from the JFK International Airport in New York, U.S., November 8, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. airlines will take part in a Senate oversight hearing this month on the industry, an aviation trade group said on Friday, with lawmakers expected to quiz executives about how carriers used pandemic-related federal aid, staffing issues and other matters.

The Senate Commerce Committee has invited the chief executives of seven major U.S. airlines to testify at the planned Dec. 15 hearing.

Airlines for America (A4A), an industry trade group, said in a statement that "the U.S. airlines look forward to participating" but did not specify whether the CEOs would testify, as requested by Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, the committee's chair.

Cantwell has invited the CEOs of American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), United Airlines, JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU), Alaska Airlines and Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) to appear, Reuters reported this week.

A4A said the carriers look forward to continuing to work with Cantwell and Senator Roger Wicker, the committee's top Republican, "on the issues facing the U.S. airline industry."

"I would encourage them to show up," Cantwell told Reuters on Wednesday of the CEOs. "I think it is bad faith not to show up. ... The public deserves to know some answers."

Cantwell added that "we're going to do our oversight role because this was a lot of money." Many of those CEOs are expected to be in Washington on the day of the hearing to take part in an A4A meeting, officials said.

U.S. airlines and carriers around the world were hard hit by reduced business and tourist travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting in March 2020, Congress approved three rounds of taxpayer bailouts totaling $54 billion to cover much of U.S. airline payroll costs through Sept. 30 of this year as a result of the pandemic.

Lawmakers want to know if voluntary employee buyouts offered by airlines, despite receiving payroll assistance, caused operational problems at some carriers that have resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights in recent months.

The leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation Committee separately have asked A4A to answer questions about the government payroll aid that the carriers received.

Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio, the committee's chairman, and the panel's top Republican, Representative Sam Graves, asked A4A to answer questions about staffing reductions despite the taxpayer assistance.

DeFazio and Graves in a letter made public late on Thursday noted that questions have been raised about disruptions at two major U.S. carriers in recent months and asked whether that is the result of "a shortage of workers in key operational areas" despite the aid from Congress.

"We expect airlines to take whatever measures are available to ameliorate any short-staffing issues and begin to address longer-term workforce shortages," the two congressmen wrote.

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines in recent months have had high-profile issues resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

A4A said COVID-19 cut air travel demand by as much as 96% during the early stages of the pandemic last year.

"The industry was in survival mode, and the (assistance program) was critical to ensuring U.S. airline employees remained on the job, ready to go and able to continue providing essential services," the group said.

It added that "the operational disruptions that some carriers have experienced are wholly unrelated to the federal support."

Airlines that received government assistance were not allowed to issue involuntary layoffs or cut worker pay. They also had to limit executive compensation and halt share buybacks and dividend payments.

U.S. airlines to participate in Senate oversight hearing

Related Articles

3M Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q4
3M Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q4 By - Jan 25, 2022 - 3M reported on Tuesday fourth quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecasts and revenue that topped expectations. 3M announced earnings per share of $2.31 on...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (2)
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Dec 05, 2021 3:37PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Sure. But who is The Senate going to participate with ??
Matthew Price
Matthew Price Dec 05, 2021 4:19AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
forcing unproven vaccines without providing any actual scientific evidence is the root of the issue, obviously
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Dec 05, 2021 4:19AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
No. WE are the root issue (You and I). Think about it (a lot, if necessary).
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email