Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel wants Congress to provide more support for the airline industry, saying that not doing so would prevent the industry from recovering quickly once the pandemic slowed, CNBC reported.
Speaking on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Alley,’ Fogel said he believes the travel industry will recover, saying there’s “no reason” to wait longer for recovery because Congress took its time passing more aid right now.
Fogel’s company provides airline services, including flight bookings. He said the economic consequences could be far-reaching if no aid is given, pointing to the plight already being felt by companies like United and American Airlines. The two airlines announced recently that they were laying off over 32,000 workers between them since their first COVID-19 aid, for $25 billion in federal help to keep people employed, expired Oct. 1.
He said it wasn’t easy to bring back people once they’d already been let go.
“They may be elsewhere, so by not bringing that money to work now, we are damaging that industry,” he told CNBC. “It makes no sense to me. We need to have a great air business. Why do we want to wreck it?”
Booking Holdings announced its own layoffs earlier this year, with a round of layoffs at Booking.com that affected around 25 percent of the work force.
The recovery for airlines has been tricky to deal with because of the dependence on people coming back and traveling, which likely won’t be at 100 percent so long as there’s no virus vaccine. PYMNTS writes that the July numbers for people passing through TSA checkpoints in the U.S. sat at 755,555. That was only 27 percent of the over 2 million that passed through in 2019.
Executives don’t have much hope for a full recovery in the near future, saying it could be years before things are where they once were. The recovery will likely be limited for now to wealthy travelers, who are less likely to cancel planned trips overseas.