American Airlines is among 10 airlines that have struck a deal to get federal aid to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

At least 10 U.S. airlines will accept federal aid to help keep employees on the payroll during the coronavirus crisis, in exchange for stock warrants that could give the U.S. government an equity stake in each company.

Why it matters: The deal puts an end to nearly a week of intense negotiations between the airline industry and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who insisted that airlines pay back a portion of the payroll aid and that taxpayers get some potential upside in exchange for helping the industry.

Some airlines released details of their aid packages late Tuesday, with more information expected in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the coming days.

  • Southwest Airlines said it would receive nearly $3.2 billion — a $2.3 billion direct grant for payroll support and almost $1 billion in an unsecured, 10-year loan. The loan is expected to include approximately 2.6 million stock warrants issued to the U.S. Department of Treasury, Southwest said.
  • American Airlines said it would receive $5.8 billion — a $4.1 billion grant and a low-interest rate loan of $1.7 billion — but it didn't release details about stock warrants issued to the government.
  • American said it also plans to apply for a separate loan of $4.75 billion from a different tranche of U.S. Treasury funds.

The $25 billion payroll support program for passenger airlines was part of the more than $2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress last month.

  • The grants are intended to prevent furloughs and pay cuts through Sept. 30.
  • Conditions include limitations on stock buybacks, dividends and executive compensation.

The big picture: Air travel has collapsed in the wake of stay-at-home orders across much of the nation, pummeling the airline industry.

Congress set aside a total of $58 billion in aid to the airline industry as part of the relief package passed last month.

  • $25 billion in grants for passenger airlines to payroll support.
  • $25 billion in loans for passenger airlines.
  • $4 billion in grants and $4 billion in loans for cargo carriers.

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Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. Zeta weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

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Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

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