US airlines on March 20 called on the government to provide payroll protection to its employees who are facing uncertainty due to Coronavirus outbreak. US airlines urged the government to release a stimulus package that would help them save nearly 7,50,000 jobs. As per media reports, the airline industry is on the verge of collapse due to the lockdown imposed after the virus cases escalated in the country.
A $50 billion plan was proposed in the US Senate on Thursday which is aimed at providing secured loans. However, the cash grant requested by the industry was not in the plan and it spurred intense discussions between airlines, union and congressional aides over the shape of the package.
Media reports suggested that airlines in the United States had earlier sought $50 billion in help from the government after the Trump administration prepared a reportedly $850 billion plan to prevent an economic fallout due to Coronavirus outbreak. According to reports, Market Intelligent firm CAPA warned that most airlines will go bankrupt by the end of May, while industry officials say that they would face a crisis in their cash reserves in three months or so.
COVID-19 has claimed more than 11,400 lives across the world and has infected nearly 2,76,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally.
Italy, Iran and Spain are the most affected countries outside mainland China, where, as of March 20 the combined death toll stands at 6,558. Italy has now surpassed China to record the most number of deaths in the world due to the virus outbreak, while Iran and Spain both crossed the 1,000 mark.
(With Agency inputs)