Flight attendant union leader Sara Nelson blasted the stalemate that remains between Democratic congressional leadership and the White House over a fifth coronavirus relief bill as the expiration of federal aid to the airline industry looms.
“It shouldn’t be this hard to do the right thing. We should have seen action from Congress before the August recess … no one should have left town,” Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants told Hill.TV Tuesday. She also noted that 57 million people have filed for unemployment.
“Right now what you’re seeing is the airlines planning for October 1 without those federal dollars to keep people on the job.”
Federal aid runs out for the industry Oct. 1.
Nelson added that an unrealistically rosy picture has been painted of the industry’s recovery since the pandemic began.
“I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to recognize that we are in the middle of a raging pandemic, this is the biggest crisis the airline industry has ever faced… and we’re still right in the middle of it,” she said.
“So while some have talked about the airline industry has started to recover, that’s not really true. We’re talking about a 70 percent drop off from last year and no business can survive at that rate.”
She also blasted President Trump’s response to the ongoing crisis, saying a series of White House executive actions failed to properly address the ongoing economic issues.
“We are not having the truth coming out of the White House and so we’re having a national narrative that is not really correct about the crisis that we’re facing,” she said.