In a joint statement issued Wednesday, the presidents of unions representing air-traffic controllers, airline pilots and flight attendants said that they are increasingly concerned about the safety of their members, airlines and the traveling public.
“In our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break. It is unprecedented,” the union leaders wrote. They urged Congress and the White House to end the shutdown immediately.
The Federal Aviation Administration responded by saying that air travel remains safe and that it had not seen any appreciable difference in performance over the last several weeks.
Separately, JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes said Thursday that, “We are close to a tipping point as employees are about to miss a second paycheck,” Bloomberg reported. The CEO added: “The longer this goes on, the longer it will take for the nation’s air travel infrastructure to rebound.”