aviation industry

American Airlines to get $5.5-billion loan from US Treasury

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
The loan adds to American Airlines' mounting debt level, which is higher than that of other leading US carriers

American Airlines has agreed to a $5.5-billion loan from the United States Treasury as it aims to ride out the downturn caused by the coronavirus, the carrier announced on Friday, September 25.

The airline, which has said it could lay off as many as 19,000 employees next month without another relief package from Congress, said the financing will “help us shore up our longer-term liquidity until demand returns,” according to a message to employees.

The loan, authorized as part of the massive CARES Act federal relief package passed this spring, adds to American’s mounting debt level, which is higher than that of other leading US carriers. 

The Treasury Department told the carrier that the loan could be boosted to as much as $7.5 billion, “although such amount is subject to final approval by the Treasury,” American said in a securities filing.

The CARES Act also provided $25 billion in Payroll Support Program (PSP) funds for US carriers, including $5.8 billion to American. 

US airlines that took PSP funds committed to not undertaking any involuntary job cuts through the end of September. American has said it could lay off 19,000 workers starting in October if there is not a new relief package.

Airline chief executive officers visited the White House on September 17 to lobby for such legislation, but talks in Congress have stalled amid intensifying partisanship ahead of the November presidential election. – Rappler.com

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