Southwest Airlines CEO ‘hopeful’ on more government aid but hesitant to cut capacity


Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly on Wednesday said he is optimistic that Congress can pass a national coronavirus relief package that includes airline aid despite a months-long impasse between lawmakers and the White House.

Airlines earlier this year received $25 billion in federal payroll support which prohibits job cuts and requires minimum service levels through Sept. 30.

With that date a week away, airline CEOs, including Kelly, at have met with government officials and lawmakers in Washington in a last-minute plea for additional aid for the sector struggling with demand at less than a third of last year’s levels because of the pandemic. Like other airline chiefs, Kelly said it doesn’t expect a strong rebound in air travel anytime soon.

“We’re very hopeful they can come to an agreement and get that passed and help the economy and obviously help the travel industry,” Kelly told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street.

The proposal has won bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and from the White House, but lawmakers and the Trump administration have repeatedly failed to reach a deal on a new national coronavirus package that would include that aid.

Even without additional aid Southwest is reluctant to further cut capacity because it could end up causing more pain for the airline, Kelly said.

“At a point, if we cut our flights too much then we cut a lot of itineraries and the revenue loss accelerates much faster than the cost cuts do,” he said. “We have to strike the right balance.”

He said the airline is sticking with capacity cuts of about 40%-45% from a year ago.



Source link

Discover

Sponsor

spot_imgspot_img

Latest

No Link Seen Between COVID, Guillain-Barré Syndrome

By Robert PreidtHealthDay Reporter ...

Annual Report Highlights Dangerous Toys

Nov. 13, 2020 -- As the holidays near, the...

Dominion lawsuit against MyPillow’s Lindell definitely not the last, CEO says

Dominion Voting Systems, a primary target of baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, will "definitely" file more lawsuits against those who...

Google document shows it’s targeting EU lawmakers ahead of critical legislation

An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018.Arnd Wiegmann | ReutersLONDON — Google is targeting...

Trump lawyer Michael Cohen meets with DA Vance on criminal probe

Michael Cohen exits the Manhattan district attorney’s office on March 19, 2021 in New York City.Michael M. Santiago | Getty ImagesMichael Cohen, the...