American carriers seek $50 billion bailout package

United airlines
An association representing all the major American airlines has sought a $50 billion bailout package, even as the White House looks to draft a financial assistance package to help the industry. Travel demand in the US has fallen steeply following the corona virus outbreak, bringing the airline industry to its knees.

Airlines for America, the association representing many of the US carriers, has said that without timely action all airlines will run out of money by year-end. The association has said the industry needs $25 billion in grants, $25 billion loans and significant tax relief to keep its head above water.

The association represents the American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and others. On Monday, Southwest said that it has secured a new $1 billion line of credit.

“We have to back the airlines – it’s not their fault,” US President Donald Trump has said. US carriers have already slashed a number of flights and had met with White House to discuss the issue.

United has plans to cut 50% of its flights in April and May, while American has said it will cut 75% of its international capacity. Delta may look to slash 40% of its flights in the next few months.

Meanwhile, the Airline Pilots Association president Joe DePete has said that any economic relief package must contain strong labour protection for the airline employees. There is widespread fear that thousands of employees may lose their jobs, as business continues to tumble.