No blank check for airlines seeking coronavirus aid after spending $39 billion on stock buybacks, unions say
The more than $50 billion in government aid U.S. airlines are seeking as the coronavirus ravages their businesses must include worker and consumer protections, some lawmakers and labor unions said.
Airlines are reeling from what executives have called an unprecedented collapse in travel demand as COVID-19 spreads, prompting millions of Americans to stay at home. More than 5,000 cases of coronavirus have been detected so far in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.
As a result airlines are culling thousands of flights, parking airplanes, deferring orders and asking workers to take unpaid leave in a bid to preserve cash. U.S. airlines employ close to 750,000 people.
Their requested aid includes $25 billion in direct grants — five times more than what airlines received following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — and is crucial for the carriers, their lobbying group, Airlines for America, said.
Congress has just begun negotiations around a …continued .
[Source: CNBC News]