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Largest U.S. airlines move towards federal loans; United warns about COVID-19 surge

Largest U.S. airlines move towards federal loans; United warns about COVID-19 surge A United Airlines plane taxis by parked United jets at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on April 14, 2020. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS) Brian Cassella CHICAGO — The largest U.S. air carriers have all signed letters of intent on federal loans to help them weather…

Largest U.S. airlines proceed towards national loans; United warns about COVID-19 spike




A United Airlines plane taxis by parked United jets at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on April 14, 2020.

A United Airlines plane taxis by parked United jets at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on April 14, 2020. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS)



Brian Cassella


CHICAGO — The biggest U.S. air carriers have signed letters of intent on federal loans to help them weather the outbreak, together with United Airlines warning employees a spike in COVID-19 outbreaks was hitting bookings, threatening a travel rebound.

Airlines have received $25 billion in municipal help beneath the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress in March, and are eligible for the following 25 billion loan application.

United was among five carriers — along with Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and Southwest Airlines — that the U.S. Treasury Department said on Tuesday had signed letters regarding the loan provisions, which might incorporate the issue of warrants and restrictions on executive compensation and share buybacks.

“We anticipate working together with the airlines to finalize arrangements and provide the airlines that the ability to access these loans if they choose,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Treasury a week said it had agreed on the terms for government loans underneath with five other airlines such as American Airlines.

U.S. carriers, enduring the business’s worst catastrophe as the coronavirus pandemic crushes need, have until Sept. 30 to decide whether to select the loan. They could furlough or eliminate jobs starting Oct. 1.

Travel has picked up in certain regions over the previous two months since economies open up and travel restrictions loosen, although a recent spike in COVID-19 instances in certain U.S. states has triggered more constraints and started to weigh on bookings again.

Within an internal demonstration on Monday, United said reservations for travel within the upcoming month quickly started to slide after New York, New Jersey and Connecticut stated they’d require individuals arriving from hot-spot states to quarantine for 14 days, a person who has knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The slump was pronounced in United’s Newark hub, in which near-term net bookings were just about 16percent of year-ago levels as of July 1.

United advised workers to prepare to receive notifications of possible furloughs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as the WARN Act, as soon as this week, the man stated.

Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth said in an investor note that the reservations trend was likely much broader than the New York area, noting that at least 14 countries are requiring more visitors to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

Delta, which kicks off second quarter airline results on July 14, stated last week that it may scale back the amount of flights it’d planned to include in August due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

U.S. airlines have already drastically reduced their flight capacity and hurried to shore up capital while warning that tens of thousands of jobs might be at risk in the autumn as the industry braces for a slow recovery.

In an effort to avoid forced job reductions, they’re encouraging employees to take premature departure packages.

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American warned on Thursday that it is overstaffed by around 8,000 flight attendants.

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