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US airlines prepare for possibility of domestic travel shutdown

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Major U.S. airlines are getting ready for the possibility of a shutdown on passenger flights within the U.S. because of the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus, however they don’t believe that one is imminent, according to sources.

Airline sources defined to ABC News that they must be prepared for anything because of the unpredictable and fluid situation surrounding the COVID-19 disaster. The sources cited different plans airlines have in place for natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes as examples.“We just don’t know” what’s going to happen, one airline source added.

During a White House briefing on Monday, President Donald Trump stated “we’re not going to have that,” when asked if he was thinking about new travel restrictions.

However, because of the steep decline in demand, airline sources mentioned they aren’t ruling out a voluntary shutdown of passenger flights.

One of the main airline’s premier flights Monday evening from New York to Los Angeles had six passengers on board only.

On Monday, the Transportation Security Administration screened about two million much less passengers compared to last 12 months.

“You just can’t run a business that way”.

Airline sources say extra urgent than a possible shutdown are the variables outside of their control,  together with staffing shortages and certain state-imposed guidelines.

As of Tuesday morning, 25 TSA brokers have examined positive for COVID-19 and a minimum of 10 air traffic control facilities have been impacted by personnel testing positive for virus.

On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an order instructing passengers on direct flights coming into the state from New York, Connecticut or New Jersey to self-quarantine or isolate for at the least 14 days.

In an try and climate the coronavirus disaster, all the main airlines have already taken unprecedented measures similar to slashing domestic and worldwide flights, cutting pay, providing workers unpaid leave and parking tons of of plane.

Last Friday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian informed workers in an internal memo that regardless of measures to cut back prices the airline was still “burning roughly $50 million in cash each day.”

U.S. airline executives warned House and Senate management on Saturday that “time is running out” to protect the business’s 750,000 staff. The airlines are at the moment pushing the White House and Congress to move a financial help bundle comprised of money grants and loans.

Airline executives agreed that if the business receives a minimum of $29 billion in money grants they won’t furlough staff by the end of August and can agree to simply accept limits on government compensation and get rid of inventory buybacks and dividends.

“The breadth and immediacy of the need to act cannot be overstated,” executives wrote in a joint letter to lawmakers. “It is urgent and unprecedented.”

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