By David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski
WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Major U.S. airlines launched a last-ditch bid to persuade Congress to grant them a new $25 billion bailout to help avert tens of thousands of employee furloughs set to begin Oct. 1.
The chief executives of American Airlines
, United Airlines
and JetBlue Airways
and major aviation unions held a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon calling for a six-month extension of a payroll support program that consisted primarily of grants in exchange for keeping workers on the payroll.
“We’re not going to give up,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said, affirming that the airline would furlough some 19,000 on Oct. 1 without fresh aid.
He reiterated, however, that the company itself is not at risk without assistance. “American Airlines is going to be fine,” Parker said.
On Monday, two key Republican senators introduced legislation that would authorize another