Buttigieg: “There are Going to Be Challenges” with July Fourth Travel. Airlines Push People into Early Retirement even with COVID Relief

In a segment of an interview that aired Tuesday on “NBC Nightly News”, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated, “There will be challenges” in air travel during the July Fourth holiday. He also said that despite having received $50 trillion in coronavirus relief to help save jobs, many people (including pilots) were forced into early retirement. This certainly has reduced the workforce. Right now, we really count on .”

Host Lester Holt posed the question, “Is July 4 a recipe to disaster considering the problems with the system right at the moment ?”

Buttigieg replied, “There will be challenges. But we’re looking closely at it and talking to airlines everyday about our responsibility to ensure that they are able to accommodate any weather-related issues. Many people (including me) are looking forward to this weekend. We need a system capable of getting them to their loved ones .”


Holt said that the airlines had received a lot money. It was over $50 trillion. That was a lot, because you didn’t need to put people out of work, and you could still keep them employed

Buttigieg replied, “So the purpose of this taxpayer funding is to keep people employed.” One of the greatest things about the Rescue Plan was, for instance, the fact that employees at airlines were instructed to destroy their furlough notices as soon as it arrived. We also witnessed that many people including pilots were forced into early retirement. This certainly contributed to a reduction in the workforce that we are really counting on right now. We hear it often that the absence of pilots is a factor in delays or cancellations .”

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