US airline industry seeks about $50 billion in federal help

US airline industry seeks about $50 billion in federal help

News Staff

(CNN) — US airlines slammed by the coronavirus are requesting an aid package from the federal government that could amount to about $50 billion, according to industry group Airlines for America.

The requested aid would be in the form of loans, grants and tax relief. The airlines are looking for up to $25 billion in grants for passenger air carriers and $4 billion in grants to cargo carriers, and the same amounts in loans or loan guarantees, Airlines for America outlined in a briefing document.

“US carriers are in need of immediate assistance as the current economic environment is simply not sustainable,” the group said in a statement. “This is compounded by the fact that the crisis does not appear to have an end in sight.”

The aid package has been discussed with key lawmakers and staff, as on Capitol Hill and the Trump administration, two sources said.

The discussions were described as early-stage. But one source noted there is a growing recognition from the federal government that conditions “are getting very bad, very fast.”

America’s major airlines are projected to run out of cash sometime between June 30 and the end of the year without help, according to the trade group.