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The Government Shutdown Creates Headwinds for Airlines

Hugo Martin and Jim Puzzanghera
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The nation’s airlines are blaming the partial federal government shutdown for putting another dark cloud in their path, with few federal workers and contractors taking to the skies and stalled federal agency approvals causing delays in expansion plans, including Southwest Airlines’ much-anticipated service to Hawaii.

The Washington impasse comes at a time when the travel and hospitality industries have been reporting healthy profits but face strong headwinds from higher jet fuel prices and increasing costs for employee salaries and benefits.

The airline industry echoed the complaints of other business leaders in the U.S., who are saying the federal deadlock threatens to weigh down an otherwise thriving economy.

Airlines for America, an industry trade group, and the U.S. Chamber were among 645 national state and local business groups that sent a letter Thursday to President Trump and members of Congress urging them to reopen the government.

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