U.S. airlines have asked the U.S. government for $50 billion in assistance, citing continued negative pressure from COVID-19.
As reported by CNBC, Airlines For America, the lobbying arm of the major U.S. passenger and cargo airlines, has asked the U.S. government for $50 billion in assistance, which would include a “mix of direct aid and loan guarantees”.
Airlines For America said:
“In the short space of two weeks, U.S. airlines have seen their positions of strong financial health deteriorate remarkably rapidly. The downturn in demand for commercial air transportation related to COVID-19 is causing unprecedented harm to the U.S. airline industry.”
U.S. carriers are in need of immediate assistance as the current economic environment is simply not sustainable. This is compounded by the fact that the crisis does not appear to have an end in sight. In order to combat this unprecedented economic downfall, A4A is recommending the following combination of programs to provide immediate and medium to long-term assistance to the U.S. airline industry and protect their employees: 1) grants; 2) loans; and 3) tax relief.”
Here’s the specific proposal (.pdf).
Specially, the request includes:
- $25 billion grant for commercial airlines
- $25 billion “liquidity facility program” (unsecured loan) for commercial airlines
- $4 billion for cargo airlines
- Refund of federal excise tax for January 1 – March 31, 2020
- Suspension of federal excise tax until December 31, 2021
That’s quite a request…
As for whether it is deserved, I tend to take the same position as One Mile at a Time.
Is this a reasonable request by the U.S. airlines?