American Airlines CEO Doug Parker was in DC on Wednesday talking to politicians about a second bailout, and airline President Robert Isom reports he has spent time on the phone with legislators as well. Isom spoke on Wednesday with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, and read out his call to employees in an internal conversation, a recording of which was reviewed by View From The Wing.
Two hours prior to the employee meeting, Scalise relayed to Isom “We’ve got open ears [for a second round of airline subsidies], a lot of hard decisions to make, but I gotta tell ya I realize the airline business is essential – not just from a cargo perspective but ultimately from a commerce perspective in making sure we’re ready when the country needs us.”
In Isom’s telling, Scalise reported that “he had flown earlier this week back to Washington DC.” Isom says Scalise asked him to “pass one message on [to employees] that ‘we need ya, we need American Airlines, we need the airline industry out there, and please keep doing what you’re doing.’ Scalise boarded his flight, pulled the tray table down, and “having it smell like disinfectant was one of the best things that could have happened, he appreciates the multi-layered approach to keeping people safe.”
Scalise concluded “the country cares about the airline industry, the country cares about American Airlines, and wants to make sure we have the wherewithal to make it through the storm we face right now.”
In the same talk Isom explained to employees that there was less consumer demand for flights, so there will be fewer flights and that’s why they’ll have fewer staff without government support. So the second round of bailouts they’re pushing for, and that Republic Minority Whip Scalise has “open ears” to, will be paying people not to work – and funding highly paid executives and pilots in some cases making over $300,000 a year – when the economy needs people to transition to new companies and industries meeting consumer demand in order to recover.