Airlines may be losing battle for cash grants in D.C. rescue package

U.S. airline executives reportedly have been unsuccessful so far in obtaining cash grants from D.C. lawmakers they have said were needed to withstand the coronavirus crisis, according to congressional sources.

The airline CEOs have argued they need immediate infusions of cash via government grants, not just loans, to avoid mass layoffs, and reportedly told congressional leaders they would not cut staff through Aug. 31, limit executive compensation and refrain from buying back stock if grants were enacted.

“The airlines are going to have access to a credit facility through the Treasury that would give working capital to address some of their needs,” said Sen. Thune, the no. 2 Senate Republican and a member of the Senate committee that oversees airlines. “The question on the grant dollars is something that the airlines have raised but at this point I don’t sense support for it here or within the administration.”

The CEOs of 10 U.S. passenger and cargo carriers said in a letter today that without direct cash assistance, “draconian measures” such as furloughs may be necessary.

Signing the letter were top execs from United (NASDAQ:UAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), UPS, Alaska Airlines (NYSE:ALK), JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU), Hawaiian Airlines (NASDAQ:HA), and Atlas Air Worldwide (NASDAQ:AAWW).


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