Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that the nation’s major airlines have tentatively agreed to terms for $25 billion in federal aid to pay workers and keep them employed through September.
The deals aren’t final, but the assistance is almost certain to be a mix of cash and loans, and the government could take a small ownership stake in the leading airlines.
The airlines did not want to give up equity, but Treasury demanded compensation for taxpayers. The airlines have little leverage — their business has collapsed as the COVID-19 pandemic reduces air travel to a trickle and they face mass layoffs without the federal aid.
The nation’s six biggest airlines — Delta, American, United, Southwest, Alaska, and JetBlue — along with four smaller carriers have told the Treasury Department they plan to take part, and discussions are continuing with others, Mnuchin said.
“We look forward to working with the airlines to finalize the necessary agreements and disburse funds as quickly as possible,” Mnuchin said in a statement. (Boston Globe)