Airforwarders Association Calls on Congress to Provide Aid to the Airline Industry During Ongoing Pandemic

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AfA cites importance of airlines to supporting commerce, trade and future distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine

The Airforwarders Association today announced its intention to advocate for a broad relief effort from Congress to support the airline industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Airforwarders Association represents airfreight forwarding companies throughout the United States, employing thousands of workers who arrange and transport vital cargo around the world in partnership with U.S. scheduled commercial passenger airlines.

The ongoing health crisis has had a significant impact on passenger airlines and the aftermath could be devastating to national supply chain operations. If Congress cannot reach an agreement for the fourth coronavirus relief package, several leading carriers have announced that they will be forced to pursue massive layoffs when the current aid package ends on 30 September. Further, Congressional inaction will drive vital commerce away from U.S. carriers and onto their foreign counterparts, rendering our country’s airline system less competitive as a result.

Half of all air cargo is transported via passenger aircraft, so the resilience of commercial airlines is essential to the nation’s recovery from this crisis. If an agreement to provide additional financial aid to the U.S. airlines is not reached soon, there will undoubtedly be a significant negative impact on trade, commerce and distribution of critical medical supplies such as the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine. The Airforwarders Association calls on Congress to meet the request of transit agencies for $32 billion to aid recovery this year.

“When a vaccine develops and we recover from this unprecedented pandemic, airlines must be prepared to lead the recovery effort by having planes available to fly immediately,” said Brandon Fried, Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association. “Our members will play a critical role in transporting vital medical and commercial shipments on passenger flights, but the airlines need adequate funding to operate these planes now. Congress must act now to avoid a further loss of airline jobs and to keep vital cargo moving for the sake of U.S. citizens who rely on this critical industry medical supplies and urgent goods.”

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About the Airforwarders Association
The Airforwarders Association (AfA) represents more than 275 member companies dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain. The association's members range from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees to large companies employing more than 1,000 people and business models varying from domestic to worldwide freight forwarding operations. In short, they are the travel agents for freight shipments, moving cargo in the timeliest and most cost-efficient manner whether it is carried on aircraft, truck, rail or ship. For more information, visit the association's website at http://www.airforwarders.org.

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Sally MacDonald
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