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A United Airlines plane sits parked at a gate at San Francisco International Airport. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump on Monday vowed to "backstop" airlines that have been hurt by the rapid plunge in air travel bookings amid the coronavirus outbreak, saying, "It's not their fault."

The big picture: U.S. airlines are in talks with the government on a variety of financial assistance measures, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people briefed on the discussions.

What's happening: U.S. passenger and cargo airlines are seeking at least $58 billion in government aid to survive the coronavirus shock that is quickly proving to be more damaging than the 9/11 attacks.

  • The aid being sought is more than three times the size of the industry's bailout after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Between the lines: Airlines for America, an industry trade group, on Monday released its proposal for a combination of government-backed loans, cash grants and tax relief.

  • Passenger airlines: $25 billion in immediate cash relief, plus $25 billion in government-backed loans.
  • Cargo airlines: $4 billion in cash grants, plus $4 billion in loans.
  • Tax relief: rebates on taxes for everything from airport usage to tickets, cargo and fuel.

The fallout so far: Airlines are slashing routes and laying off employees to cope with the decline.

  • United Airlines said it would cut its flight schedules in half in April and May and is in talks with its unions about steps that could include furloughs, pay cuts or other measures to reduce payroll expenses.
  • Delta and American Airlines also announced drastic cutbacks.
  • International carriers are really struggling.
    • Norwegian Air and Scandinavian airline SAS are among those halting most of their flights.

Flashback: After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, the government made $5 billion in direct payments and up to $10 billion in government loans to airlines.

The bottom line, says Trump: "We're going to back the airlines 100%."

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 7 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
9 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.