American Airlines to ask for $12 bn in govt relief: WSJ

American Airlines will seek $12 billion in government assistance to steer the carrier through the global aviation downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal has reported. The airline industry is one of the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, with US airlines suspending most transatlantic flights and many domestic routes. The US Congress has designated $50 billion in spending for the industry in its $2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package.

American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker and president Robert Isom said in a Monday memo to staff that it would seek nearly a quarter of the relief funds on offer. “We intend to apply for these funds and are confident that… they will allow us to fly through even the worst of potential future scenarios,” the pair wrote, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Trump administration officials have said they are examining the possibility of taking equity shares in airlines as part of the bailout plan for the industry. “I think in return for direct cash grants, which is what the airlines have asked for, I see no reason why the American taxpayer shouldn’t get a piece,” White House economics adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News on Sunday.

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Lois C. Ferrara

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