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  • -It's the story of the airline industry

  • and flying told by what's not flying --

  • planes parked around the world, grounded,

  • as coronavirus takes hold.

  • Some airlines shutting down for now.

  • One estimate from a trade association

  • says half the world's airlines could collapse or merge.

  • -I can assure you, we're losing money

  • on every single flight and big money.

  • So that can't be sustained indefinitely.

  • -In the US, planes were running more than 80% full.

  • Now they are flying more than 80% empty, usually worse.

  • These members of Congress going back to Washington

  • with lots of room.

  • But the airlines keep flying because...

  • -The federal government has mandated our work as essential.

  • It's a money-losing proposition on a commercial side.

  • But the higher calling is the service that we're providing.

  • -Still are there too many flights?

  • -We're not taking steps to really pull down

  • any extraneous travel that's going on.

  • So we should only be doing essential travel at this time

  • and not be exposing people needlessly through air travel.

  • -US airlines want to keep a schedule to move cargo

  • and because some still have to fly.

  • They're also in line to receive $50 billion in government aid.

  • A big chunk of that money is keeping airline workers paid,

  • even as bookings die and people stop flying.

  • -That's the IV that we needed to not just survive

  • but maintain our status with some strength.

  • -In the past, one of the first things airlines

  • do to manage their expenses is they just do massive layoffs.

  • This is an attempt to help airlines

  • reduce the number of people who have to be laid off

  • and thus reduce the number of people

  • who potentially go on to unemployment.

  • -For the pilots, the flight attendants,

  • a jolt as fortunes fall in an industry

  • where times were good

  • with sprawling networks and record profits.

  • -It was the best of times, and then overnight,

  • it became the worst of times.

  • -Now the most expensive planes

  • in the big airlines' fleets parked.

  • Wide-body jets no longer needed

  • with just about every international flight scrubbed.

  • It's a hibernation no one wanted but came on fast.

  • -This is shocking.

  • It has overtaken all of us.

  • -Empty planes mean empty airports,

  • a trickle down of bad news

  • and lost revenue for the 10 million people

  • whose jobs touch aviation in the US,

  • from in-flight catering to airplane

  • washing to airport driving.

  • Just look at the drop in passengers

  • screened at US airports by TSA

  • from a year ago to now -- down 94%.

  • For pilots and flight attendants,

  • all those parked planes mean fewer flights, so less pay.

  • -Depending on what you normally fly, it can be anywhere

  • from 20%, 25% difference in the amount of income,

  • just due to the decrease in flying.

  • So that's everybody, you know,

  • having to naturally do their part.

  • -Airlines are hoarding cash, watching every expense.

  • But they don't want to cut too much

  • because that makes restarting operations

  • all the more difficult.

  • Ground too many pilots and they could lose currency to fly.

  • -If you were to do the darkest of things

  • and that is furloughing pilots, it's furlough from the bottom,

  • which triggers hundreds of millions of dollars of training

  • in many months

  • so that the airline can continue to operate.

  • -For those working cabins, there's something else.

  • -There's a flight attendant's picture behind me.

  • His name is Paul Frishkorn,

  • who was the first flight attendant to die

  • to the coronavirus.

  • And there's gonna be a lot more people hurting.

  • And so, we're just trying to stabilize as much as possible.

  • -For now, the airline industry is in a line up and wait,

  • waiting for coronavirus to run its course,

  • waiting to see when people will fly again.

  • That federal infusion of $50 billion

  • buys them time until September.

  • And if things don't get better...

  • -I don't think we'll see any of the big four go out of business.

  • The big four are American, Delta, Southwest, and United.

  • But it's unclear whether other airlines

  • will have the financial strength to continue in the US.

  • -For passengers, there will be changes.

  • Likely fewer flights to fewer cities.

  • Some of those grounded planes won't be coming back.

  • But those fees for bags and seats sticking around.

  • And maybe some good news for flyers looking for bargains.

  • -When we come out of this,

  • I'm expecting an extremely intense

  • dogfight between the airlines for customers and cash.

  • -We're not only concerned with the survival

  • of our airline industry, but we're concerned

  • with what condition will be when we get through this.

  • And we will get through this.

  • -Airlines and its employees looking for a lift

  • but only finding uncertainty stretching as far

  • as their parked planes.

-It's the story of the airline industry

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B1 US flight flying airline parked airline industry industry

Coronavirus has nearly emptied out planes. This is why the airlines keep flying

  • 12 1
    joey joey posted on 2021/05/26
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