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U.S. airlines seek more than $50 billion in government aid

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. airlines are seeking more than $50 billion in financial aid from the government, as the industry reels from the coronavirus outbreak.

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Topics: U.S.    AIRLINE   

Airlines for America, the trade group representing all the leading U.S. passenger and cargo airlines, has requested the aid be in the form of loans, grants and tax relief.

The rapid spread of COVID-19, along with the government and business-imposed restrictions on air travel, are having an unprecedented and debilitating impact on U.S. airlines, the trade group said.

"This is a today problem, not a tomorrow problem. It requires urgent action," said Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas Calio.

The group, which represents carriers including Delta, United, American and Southwest, said that the U.S. airlines are in continuous conversations with the Administration, Congress and labor unions in an effort to secure financial assistance from the federal government to protect and preserve the 750,000 jobs of men and women who are directly employed by U.S. airlines, as well the 10 million jobs supported by the airline industry.

According to the group's document, the airlines are looking for $25 billion in grants for passenger airlines and $4 billion in grants to cargo carriers. They also are asking the same amounts in loans or loan guarantees.

The aid, if received, would be the industry's first bailout since the wake of terror attacks of September 11, 2001, which temporarily grounded all U.S. flights and led to a long slump in domestic travel. The U.S. airlines reportedly had received $5 billion in direct aid and $10 billion in loan guarantees.

"...we're going to back the airlines 100 percent. It's not their fault. It's nobody's fault, unless you go to the original source," President Donald Trump said during a press conference in the White House.

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