US House Democrats representing Washington state have urged Boeing to accept US government aid to help weather the Coronavirus pandemic after the planemaker’s chief executive balked at the possibility of government equity stakes in exchange for the relief.
Federal attorney Nick Oberheiden says a government shutdown to commercial passenger travel is very likely. As a representative of pilots and with insights into the FAA, Nick can expand on concerns for the aviation industry as many expect a government order to ground those flights.
Oberheiden says: “Airlines are looking to work with the FAA and ultimately what I have seen is that airlines are concerned that if they shut down on their own accord, they may risk being part of the stimulus package.”
An ordered grounding of all flights was last seen after 9/11 and a very different situation. Oberheiden notes any form of a shutdown will need to be taken in little gradual steps rather than an abrupt ceasing of flights.
Responsible for employing about 750,000 people, there is a concern to do something uncoordinated with the government to risk either a smaller or no portion result of the stimulus package.
The airline industry will suffer regardless if they stay open or not, says Oberheiden, because passengers are not flying as much. Pilots are concerned for their safety right now as they are continuing to work in tight spaces and travel.