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American, Southwest report billions in third-quarter losses

American, Southwest report billions in third-quarter losses
© Greg Nash

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines on Thursday reported billions of dollars in losses as the industry continues to be hit hard by decreased travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to The Associated Press, American and Southwest reported losses of $2.4 billion and $1.16 billion, respectively, in the third quarter, a period of summer months that usually sees higher rates of air travel.

The airlines, combined with Delta and United, have lost at least $10 billion in each of the last two quarters, the AP reported. 

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The losses the airlines have experienced due to COVID-19 have led to calls for the United States government to provide additional aid until more travelers feel comfortable taking flights. 

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly has called on Washington to approve more pandemic relief, including a six-month extension of $25 billion in aid to airlines. 

According to the AP, Kelly argued that without relief, “we simply cannot afford to continue with the conditions required to maintain full pay and employment.” 

Earlier this month, Southwest announced that it plans to cut pay for nonunion workers by 10 percent in January and has asked unions to accept lower pay to avoid furloughs. 

On Wednesday, Airlines for America and the U.S. Travel Association, along with hundreds of other organizations part of the Covid Relief Now Coalition, launched a digital advertising campaign calling on Congress to quickly approve a new coronavirus stimulus package. 

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They anticipate spending more than $100,000 over the next couple of months on ad buys, according to the International Franchise Association (IFA). The ad is currently running on social media platforms.

“Our economy is on brink of collapse, millions of Americans unemployed, small businesses struggling to stay open, vital services stifled without funding. America is at a pivotal point. We need our leaders to lead. Tell Congress: no recess without relief,” the ad reads.

While U.S. airlines recorded more than 1 million passengers on Sunday for the first time since March, the Transportation Security Administration reported that air travel in October is down 65 percent from what it was at this time last year, according to the AP. 

The calls for government aid come amid weeks-long talks between House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBiden's Treasury pick will have lengthy to-do list on taxes On The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach MORE to reach a deal on providing economic relief to Americans and businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE is urging Congress to achieve a stimulus bill ahead of next month’s presidential election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden's climate plans can cut emissions and also be good politics Acting Defense secretary makes surprise trip to Somalia As Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on MORE (R-Ky.) has reportedly cautioned against this, arguing that it could disrupt the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettCardinal Dolan hails Supreme Court decision on churches, COVID-19 Cuomo blames new conservative majority for high court's COVID-19 decision Supreme Court blocks New York coronavirus restrictions on houses of worship MORE.