- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2020

American Airlines will apply for $12 billion in government aid as the financial fallout from the spread of the coronavirus outbreak has shaken the travel industry.

In an email obtained by the BBC on Tuesday, the airline — one of the world’s largest — confirmed it is seeking financial assistance to protect its workers and secure financial stability after the pandemic has ended.

“These funds are being distributed to ensure continuation of essential airline service and protect jobs,” CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in the email.

“We intend to apply for these funds and are confident that, along with our relatively high available cash position, they will allow us to fly through even the worst of potential future scenarios.”

The development comes less than a week after Congress approved a $2.2 trillion emergency economic relief package, paving the way for an influx of funds to the besieged health care system and aid for workers and businesses financially hit by the crisis.

The package includes a $500 billion fund to provide loans to industries, including airlines, reeling from the impact of the outbreak.

In the email, the American Airlines officials said if they are approved to receive the assistance, staff will not see “involuntary furloughs or cuts in pay rates or benefits for the next six months” and would be offered “enhanced voluntary leave and early retirement options.”

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