Sep 29, 2020 - Economy

Seven airlines complete taxpayer loans from U.S. Treasury

American Airlines

Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday it has closed loans with seven major airlines, and Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress to extend additional aid to the industry to help airlines weather the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of workers face layoffs starting Thursday, when an existing federal payroll support program expires. While Democrats and Republicans have voiced support for helping the airline industry, they've been deadlocked in negotiations on a broader package of economic relief.

Details: Congress in March approved $25 billion in federal loans for the industry, which has suffered a 70% drop in air travel because of the pandemic.

  • Because Delta and Southwest opted to tap private markets instead, the Treasury Department said it will make larger loans than expected to some carriers — up to $7.5 billion each.
  • The seven air carriers that accepted taxpayer loans are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and United Airlines. 
  • In return, the Treasury received equity warrants in each airline.
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