Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today held a virtual roundtable with individuals who work in the airline and travel industries to discuss the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the airline industry.
“I was glad to hear directly from those employed in the air travel industry who are working hard every day to keep passengers safe during this challenging time. The airline industry is struggling due to the pandemic, and as a result, Nevada’s world-class travel, tourism, and leisure industry has been even harder hit. I want to make sure that as our economy begins to reopen in the future, both passengers and workers are safe. I continue to work in the Senate to get Nevadans resources during the coronavirus pandemic, and these conversations with those directly affected in the Silver State allow me to bring their voices back to the halls of Congress.”
Senator Cortez Masto met virtually with individuals working in the air travel industry, including:
- Rosemary Vassiliadis, Director of Aviation, McCarran International Airport
- Lori Vitto Glattly, Association of Professional Flight Attendants, American Airlines
- Bill Carico, United AFA Local President (AFA-CWA local 29025)
- James Talev, Airline Pilots Association, Spirit Airlines
- Brian Ayala, Airport concessionaire
- Juston Larsen, Culinary/UNITE HERE
Department of Transportation data show that in July, the airline industry was down around 35,000 jobs compared to July, 2019. The decline in the airline and travel industries have contributed to rising unemployment in Nevada.
Senator Cortez Masto supported the CARES Act, which allocated vital emergency support to the airline industry, including:
- $10 billion in funding to our nation’s airports, of which more than $230 million came to Nevada;
- $500 billion in loans and grants as direct support to the air carrier industry;
- $32 billion in support to help maintain the vital aviation workforce; and
- temporary tax holidays to incentivize travel and save airlines money.
She has also cosponsored the Every Worker Protection Act, which would require OSHA to issue standards to help protect workers from exposure to the coronavirus.
Senator Cortez Masto is also advocating for support for the tourism and leisure industry that will help them prepare to safely welcome visitors as the pandemic eases. She has introduced the bipartisan STEP Act to provide economic support for organizations involved in promoting and hosting tourism, travel, or other special events. This bill would provide grants to pay worker salaries, pay costs associated with clean work environments, and help increase public confidence as these industries look to reopen safely in the future.