The U.S. Treasury Department said on Tuesday that major passenger airlines have agreed in principle to a $25 billion rescue package, ensuring airline workers have jobs until October while the industry battles its biggest-ever crisis.
Airlines are hopeful that U.S. passenger traffic, which has dropped by 95% due to the coronavirus pandemic, will begin to recover by October but have warned that the slowdown in air travel could extend into next year and even longer. It’s possible they will need another round of government bailouts to survive.
Major carriers will receive 70% of the funds for payroll in cash assistance that will not need to be paid back, while smaller carriers receiving $100 million or less will not need to repay any funds.
The six largest U.S. airlines – American Airlines Group Inc, United Airlines Holdings Inc, Delta Air Lines Inc, Southwest Airlines Co, JetBlue Airways Corp and Alaska Airlines – as well as four other airlines accepted the support, Treasury said.
Agreements should be finalized soon and funds disbursed quickly, it said.