America's airline travel 'becoming third-world:' David Asman

DAVID ASMAN: Well, we are in many ways becoming third world in the way we operate. And so much of it had to do with believing that the government could solve the problem by spending our money. First of all, government has to take a role. The FAA is easy to spread criticism at the airlines, but they didn’t monitor the spending of that money, which was, by the way, more than $ 54 billion. We spent $ 29 billion in grants to airlines for payroll support, even though right now we have 28,000 fewer workers than we did in December 2019.

MARTHA MACCALLUM: Where did the money go?

‘TRAVEL ARMAGEDDON’ AT AIRPORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY: ‘THIS IS EXPENSIVE FOR THE AIRLINES’

ASMAN: That’s a great question … It went to keep workers there temporarily, but clearly many of them left and just said, “The heck with it, I’m leaving this job. I don’t need it.” Maybe some of it went to pensions. Who knows? $ 25 billion went to passenger carriers directly where they spent money. $ 4 billion went to cargo operators. And then there was $ 25 billion in loan and loan guarantees and a lot of that was utilized as well. So you’re talking, it could be up to $ 80 billion that we spent. It’s this insane idea that government spending will cure a problem. It doesn’t. It usually makes matters–we spent $ 200 billion on the schools, remember, K through 12–to get them open. And the three COVID relief bills, we spent $ 200 billion. Where did that money go? We don’t know.

HERE

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