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Despite Having “Plenty of Liquidity,” AA CEO Wants More

Despite Having “Plenty of Liquidity,” AA CEO Wants More
Joe Cortez

With a number of airline job layoffs looming in a matter of days, American CEO Doug Parker is still hopeful that Congress will come through with additional Payroll Support Program funds. Although he originally stated that there’s “plenty of liquidity” in the loans American accepted from the government, the leader is still prepared for layoffs if they can’t get more support.

Although the chief executive of American Airlines says there’s “Plenty of liquidity” in their CARES Act loan, Doug Parker says over 100,000 airline jobs will be lost on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, if Congress won’t extend another $25 billion in Payroll Support Program funds. The executive made the comments during CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.

American’s Plan: “Get the COVID Relief Package Passed”

Parker made the comment about having “plenty of liquidity” at the beginning of his interview with host Margaret Brennan, referencing a $5.5 billion loan his airline will accept from the U.S. Treasury. This led to a question about using the loan to maintain jobs, considering American accepted $5.8 billion in Payroll Support Program funds in April 2020.

“Look, there’s- we have plenty of liquidity this- this- that loan is part of the CARES Act from back in March,” Parker said, as quoted by the CBS News transcript. He would go on to not address the loan amount, but rather why a new package needs to be passed by Congress.

“On October 1st, that program, absent being extended, is going to expire,” Parker continued. “And indeed, they’re going to be 100,000 aviation professionals who are out of work, who wouldn’t be otherwise. That is why we are fighting so hard to get that payroll support extended.”

When asked about their plan for when the funds expire, instead of addressing the original plan to furlough 19,000 employees, Parker said their plan was to get an extension of the Payroll Support Program passed by Congress before the Oct. 1 deadline. Citing “enormous bipartisan support,” the executive said he was confident a package could be passed during the week.

“We’ve been told by all sides that they are supportive of this, that it makes complete sense that they’re on our side,” Parker said on “Face the Nation. “We just need them to work- to come together and do what’s best for America and for our country and certainly for the airline business.”

Parker Second Executive Asking for Government Support on TV

With his appearance on “Face the Nation,” Parker became the second sitting airline executive to go on the program asking for the government to extend the Payroll Support Program. Two weeks prior, former American executive and current United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby called for additional government support prior to the deadline.

While airlines are asking for additional funds, borrowers who took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program say they are not getting forgiveness on their loans, as originally promised. Politico reports none of the loans have been wiped off by the government, creating complications for small businesses who may have to pay down additional debt.

Meanwhile, long-standing Oneworld rival Qatar Airways was granted a $2 billion bailout by their government to maintain operations. American was one of three legacy airlines to accuse Qatar Airways of illegally accepting government subsidies, claiming they were in violation of Open Skies agreements.

View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. cmd320

    September 28, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    But… but… Doug said they were never going to lose money again…

  2. Centurion

    September 28, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Doug Parker <> Enough said

  3. UncleDude

    October 2, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    No more state money should go to American or United Airlines until they follow Delta, Alaska,Southwest and JetBlue and leave the middle seat in Coach Empty. IMHO same applies to all the other greedy sell all seats Airlines also.

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