US airline trade groups have called on the government to take immediate measures in order to curb the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and congressional leaders, American Airlines Group, Delta Air Lines Inc, United Airlines and other airlines, along with a coalition of major aviation unions, urge the US government to initiate immediate grants, unsecured loans, and limited tax measures in order to support the industry amid the raging COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
"We sincerely request the Administration and Congress work as one to act as quickly as possible to financially protect our industry and the livelihood of our employees, who are the backbone of aviation", the letter said. "The breadth and immediacy of the need to act cannot be overstated. It is urgent and unprecedented".
So far, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States has reached 11,274, with all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands having reported cases of coronavirus disease. At least 157 people have died.
Due to the outbreak, the US State Department is urging citizens to avoid all international travel.
More than 240,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 9,800 fatalities, according to John Hopkins University.