Airline CEOs Pledge No Stock Buybacks or Furloughs in Exchange for $29 Billion Coronavirus Bailout

By Paul Riegler on 22 March 2020
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The heads of ten major U.S. airlines sent a letter to Congress with a promise to stop stock buybacks and paying dividends in exchange for a multi-billion dollar coronavirus bailout.  The industry is asking for “at least” $29 billion, saying it needs that sum in order to avoid massive layoffs.

“”Unless worker payroll protection grants are passed immediately, many of us will be forced to take draconian measures such as furloughs,” the letter read.  The letter was signed by the CEOs of ten airlines including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, and was sent under the banner of Airlines for America, the trade association representing major U.S. airlines.

The airlines said in the letter that they “will not furlough employees or conduct reductions in force through August 31, 2020,“ and also promised to limit executive compensation and not conduct any stock buy-backs over the course of the loan. The carriers said they would also eliminate stock dividends for the life of the loan.

“The breadth and immediacy of the need to act cannot be overstated,” the CEOs warned in the letter. “It is urgent and unprecedented.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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