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Senator asks airlines about worker shortages after billions in U.S. bailouts By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the IRS budget request on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S., June 8, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chair of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee asked the chief executives of six airlines including American Airlines (NASDAQ:), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:), Southwest Airlines (NYSE:) and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:) about worker shortages despite receiving billions in government bailouts.

Congress approved three separate rounds of taxpayer funding totaling $54 billion to pay much of U.S. airlines’ payroll costs through Sept. 30 as a result of COVID-19.

Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, said at best each airline “poorly managed its marketing of flights and workforce as more people are traveling, and, at worst, it failed to meet the intent of tax payer funding and prepare for the surge in travel that we are now witnessing.”

She also asked the airlines including Republic Airways and Allegiant Airlines for answers about their workforce.

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