(AP/Gray News) - U.S. airlines are asking the federal government for grants, loans and tax relief that could easily top $50 billion to help them recover from a sharp downturn in travel due to the new coronavirus.
Airlines for America, the trade group representing the carriers, posted its request for financial help on Monday.
It is asking for $29 billion in federal grants, with $25 billion for passenger airlines and $4 billion for cargo carriers.
The airlines are also seeking up to $29 billion in low-interest loans or loan guarantees, and they want federal excise taxes on fuel, cargo and airline tickets to be suspended through the end of next year.
President Donald Trump said the administration will back the airline industry 100%.
“It’s not their fault,” Trump said. “We’re going to be in a position to help the airlines very much. We’ve told the airlines we’re going to help them.”