Miami Air International, a charter airline founded in 1990 that today employs over 350 people in the Miami area – including 56 pilots represented by the Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224 – will liquidate as early as this Wednesday due to the impact of COVID-19, barring federal intervention.
“The Teamsters are joining with our brothers and sisters at the Association of Flight Attendants CWA in urgently imploring the U.S. Department of the Treasury to save the jobs of these hard-working men and women by approving the company’s application for payroll grants under the CARES Act,” said Capt. David Bourne, Teamsters Airline Division Director. “Billions of dollars have already gone to the largest passenger carriers in the country under this legislation, but Miami Air is still waiting to find out if their application has been approved. The Treasury can address this issue immediately and save hundreds of workers from suffering hardship.”
Miami Air filed for bankruptcy on March 24 as a result of the pandemic, the same day the Senate finalized the CARES Act. On April 10, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin released a statement in support of payroll grants for small and medium passenger air carriers like Miami Air International.
“Small and medium-sized passenger aviation businesses are particularly vulnerable to the disruption from COVID 19,” said Mnuchin. “This determination will provide significant support to workers and businesses across the country.”
“You will not find a more dedicated professional group of airmen than the pilots of Miami Air,” said Captain Tim Jewell, President of the Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224. “The wide range of qualifications and certifications make Miami Air unique among Boeing 737 operators. COVID-19 took away their business overnight, but the demand is already starting to come back. Congress did a fantastic job creating the CARES Act to save jobs and therefore stabilize the aviation industry. There is no clearer example of how the CARES Act grants can be used to save jobs than for the Treasury to provide those grants to the employees of Miami Air so they can weather this storm and be ready to provide the first-class multi-purpose service their customers have come to rely on.”