Donald Trump is aiming to ‘re-open’ the country by Easter.
US airlines are hoping business will improve sooner than expected after President Donald Trump announced he is aiming for the US to “reopen large sections of the country” by Easter.
“I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” he said at a brisk White House briefing on Tuesday.
The April 12 target provoked widespread criticism, with health officials claiming it will only put further lives at risk.
However, the President hit back, warning that “you can destroy a country” by closing it down in the current manner.
“You’re going to lose people. You’re going to have suicides by the thousands. You’re going to have all sorts of things happen. You’re going to have instability,” Trump said.
A few hours later, the Senate agreed a $2 trillion economic rescue plan with the White House, which is expected to pass the Senate on Wednesday.
The package includes $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.
With US-based airlines cancelling flights at unprecedented levels, the plan to “re-open” the country in Easter may provide a boost to the domestic travel industry.
American Airlines, for instance, cancelled more than 40% of its already cut flights on Monday, with many of the remaining flights operating at near empty capacity.
According to reports, American, Delta and United are drafting internal plans for the possibility of a shutdown.
Whether Trump’s plan to re-open the US economy in Easter will see an increase in travel demand remains to be seen.