Poll: Should The U.S. Government Subsidize Airline Load Factor Caps?

Credit: Spirit Airlines

The union representing American Airlines pilots wants the U.S. government to subsidize load-factor caps across the industry, an approach that would help stabilize airline finances while ensuring social distance in cabins.

Under the Allied Pilots Association’s (APA) Safe Essential Air Transportation Seating proposal, the government would buy enough seats on domestic flights to ensure no passenger has to sit next to a stranger during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In practice, this would require the government to purchase all middle seats for mainline single-aisle jets configured in the common 3-3 layout, and all aisle seats on regional jets configured in a 2-2 layout. Load factors would be capped at around 65% for the former and 50-65% for the latter.

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