U.S. exceeds 1 million airline passengers screened on October 18th

For the first time since March this year, over one million airline passengers were screened on Sunday, October 18, though the exact total of 1.03 million still saw a 60% reduction in passenger numbers when compared to the same period last year. While 1.26 million passengers were screened on March 16, that figure dropped to a low of 87,000 for one single day in April.

U.S. carriers are currently burning through cash at a rate of US$5 billion each month and since the previous payroll program ceased on September 30, there has been little sign of Congress approving a US$25 billion bailout that would keep 32,000 airline employees on the payroll for a further six months.

Recently American Airlines was forced to furlough 19,000 employees, while United Airlines has furloughed 13,000 employees. Democrats and Republicans on both the House and Senate committees have been struggling to reach agreement on a standalone airline bill and it looks increasingly unlikely any meaningful progress will be made prior to the forthcoming election.

A4A (Airlines for America) which represents American Airlines, United and Delta Air Lines, has calculated that passenger volumes are down 79% internationally and 62% domestically, adding that U.S. carriers are operating at a 48% reduction in flight numbers with nearly one-third of their fleets lying idle.

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