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Engel & McCaul Urge Airlines to Work with State Department to Help Bring Americans Home

Engel & McCaul Urge Airlines to Work with State Department to Help Bring Americans Home

Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Michael T. McCaul, the Committee’s Ranking Member, today are calling on American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines to work closely with the Department of State to assist with efforts to repatriate Americans seeking to come home during the Coronavirus Crisis. In a letter to the airlines’ CEOs, the lawmakers expressed their thanks for the companies’ efforts to date but underscored that challenges to repatriate American citizens are ongoing.

“As the possibility remains of additional border closures or travel restrictions around the world, however, there is still much work to be done.  And as Americans’ requests for repatriation assistance come from increasingly distant locales with complex flight logistical requirements, our constituents will need the support of America’s airline industry leaders to help ensure that all Americans are able to make it home,” wrote Chairman Engel and Ranking Member McCaul. “So we urge you, as leaders of America’s airline industry, to participate to the fullest extent possible in additional repatriation efforts which the State Department is organizing.”

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

 

Ed Bastian
CEO
Delta Airlines, Inc.
1030 Delta Boulevard
Atlanta, GA 30320

 

Oscar Munoz
CEO
United Airlines, Inc.
233 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606

 

Doug Parker
CEO
American Airlines Group, Inc.
4255 Amon Carter Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76155

 

Dear Mr. Bastian, Mr. Munoz, and Mr. Parker:

 

The COVID-19 outbreak is posing unprecedented challenges for all Americans, and we appreciate your companies’ efforts to adjust to the turmoil, including international border closures and travel restrictions, caused by this global pandemic.  As you are aware, these closures and restrictions have also left tens of thousands of Americans stranded in foreign countries with dwindling travel options to make their way home.  The State Department is working to help these individuals repatriate, but the ultimate success of this effort will rely in part on continued help from the private sector.

We know that many U.S. airlines are already in touch with the State Department and other relevant government agencies about this issue, and have mobilized commercial rescue flights in coordination with the U.S. government to help bring thousands of stranded Americans home to date.  We applaud these efforts. 

As the possibility remains of additional border closures or travel restrictions around the world, however, there is still much work to be done.  And as Americans’ requests for repatriation assistance come from increasingly distant locales with complex flight logistical requirements, our constituents will need the support of America’s airline industry leaders to help ensure that all Americans are able to make it home.

So we urge you, as leaders of America’s airline industry, to participate to the fullest extent possible in additional repatriation efforts which the State Department is organizing.  We thank you for your assistance in this matter.  Please do not hesitate to contact my staff at (202) 225-5021 with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,

ELIOT L. ENGEL                                                       

Chairman                                                               

 

MICHAEL MCCAUL

Ranking Member