With federal funds running out in October, U.S. airlines will cut staff. At the front of the line? Pilots! In fact, some major airlines could pink slip as many as 40 percent of their pilots.

Who amongst those pilots goes first? Those pilots with the least seniority go first. As members of a labor union the rule of last in, first out applies to pilots.

Flight attendants will also see a major layoff. The ripple effects of the October federal funds ending don’t stop on the flight deck or in the passenger cabin.

All those who service your commercial airliners will also see similar layoffs. All the mechanics who make sure the aircraft we fly on are in safe order will see cuts to their ranks.

Next all those police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, and TSA inspectors will also have to be cut back.

How do we keep our Air Traffic Controllers in those towers if we aren’t flying? These good people also have a labor union and specific rules on furloughs and layoffs that must be followed.

What about the Uber or Lyft people? Our taxi and limousine drivers? They are already hurting and most have loan payments on those nice cars, SUV’s, and limos piling up.

Baggage handlers and all those curb side service providers along with ticket agents are sure to be on the ropes.

Airport maintenance and janitorial team members are needed when passengers aren’t in the airport.

Airlines are halting service to medium and small market airports. They just can’t make the almost nonexistent passenger loads pencil out. Routes just can’t be abandoned without federal approvals. Small and midsize market tourist vacation spots will lose visitors. That’s unavoidable.

Let’s not forget that airport commissions, cities, and counties rely on revenue the airlines bring. What revenue? Fuel taxes, sales taxes, parking fees, landing fees, hotel taxes, and more.

Aircraft manufacturers and parts suppliers also are impacted. Just about any manufacturer or aircraft parts will lay-off workers. They must as orders for new aircraft and replacement parts aren’t necessary.

Cities and counties are trying to bring in additional revenues as we speak. Commercial airliners are being retired early and parked at airports around the country and paying parking fees to those governments for parking the planes.

This has the potential to be another economic mess this Coronavirus has helped get us into.

Will the President and congressional leaders continue to provide financial support to this vital industry? Too early to tell but if they don’t do anything after the financial assistance runs out as scheduled, this vital industry will take a nose dive.

With some airlines carrying just a 3 percent of capacity load they cannot make money. Airlines may be losing upwards of $45 million per day. Yes, $45 million per day!

Americans do love to fly. Sooner or later they will return to the pre-pandemic levels of travel they enjoyed.

As our nation’s Governors begin to open up the economy in their respective states the public will begin to travel again.

Airlines have worked hard to cleanse their cabins. They are developing protocols to provide safer travel aboard commercial flights.

Air travel is the safest way to travel for business or pleasure. In addition to flying passengers across the nation they also carry freight and the U.S. Mail.

America needs a financially viable commercial airline service. Congress will consider another aid package and our airlines should be part of that.

Americans will return and “fly the friendly skies” as soon as all sectors of the economy are flying again too.



Image Sources

  • Sun Country Airlines: Shutterstock