US Treasury agrees loan terms with American and four other airlines
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury said on Thursday it had agreed to terms on government loans with five U.S. carriers, including American Airlines Group Inc. AAL.O.
Treasury said it signed letters of intent with American, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines HA.O, SkyWest Airlines SKYW.O, and Spirit Airlines SAVE.N as part of a $ 25 billion emergency loan program created by Congress in March.
American said Thursday it plans to close a $ 4.75 billion Treasury loan in the third quarter, in addition to the $ 5.8 billion in wage assistance it had previously received.
US CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom on Thursday warned employees he could face significant overstaffing as he tries to secure voluntary departures.
“We currently plan to have 20-30% – or over 20,000 – more team members on the payroll than we need to run our schedule this fall,” they said. written in a memo. “To be clear, this doesn’t mean that 20,000 members of our team will be on leave in October, it just means that we still have work to do to adapt our team to the airline we will be operating.”
The Treasury has separately allocated the airlines $ 25 billion in wage aid bailouts, with most of the aid being in the form of grants that do not need to be repaid.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that “conversations with other airlines are continuing and we look forward to finalizing the deals as soon as possible.” Airlines have until September 30 to decide whether or not to take out the loan.
Like payroll funds, loans come with a ban on share buybacks and dividends, and set limits on executive compensation.
Hawaiian Airlines, which received $ 292 million in salary assistance, had requested an additional loan of $ 364 million from the Treasury.
Spirit received $ 335 million in salary assistance and said it was eligible for $ 741 million in Treasury loans. SkyWest received $ 438 million in salary support.
Airlines have warned that a recent spike in coronavirus cases in the United States could dampen travel demand which is still down about 75% from last year, but has rebounded significantly from lows April.
Airlines can put on leave or cut jobs starting October 1.
Six U.S. aviation unions last week told lawmakers that an additional $ 32 billion in wage assistance was needed to keep hundreds of thousands of workers employed until March 31.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis