Airlines Are Asking for a Second Bailout. Congress Should Say No.

The federal government has already made $32 billion available to distressed airlines. The industry wants another $25 billion.

by Veronique de Rugy

As the saying goes, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” This advice applies to the hole Congress leapt into by bailing out the airline industry back in March through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Now, these companies want even more taxpayer money. The federal government should refuse another bailout.

Like many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines have lost a lot of revenue. But unlike other industries, the coronavirus relief bill authorized up to $32 billion for payroll support for airlines through Sept. 30, for roughly six months. Basically, the way it worked is that every airline that got a loan could furlough its employees, but those that took both a grant and a loan couldn’t. Of course, it’s difficult to tell if the U.S. Treasury Department was ever serious about enforcing these requirements.

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