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Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Says He's Working to Get Aid to Airlines

The airlines are frustrated by what they see as a laborious process to apply for assistance.
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wants to get “preliminary information” to airlines about their aid applications beginning Friday.

“We hope to get to a lot of the airlines starting (Friday) and over the weekend with preliminary information,” he told CNBC.

The problem with the government rescue is that the airlines have to go through a laborious process, with requirements that they provide more detailed financial information than they have so far, sources told Bloomberg.

Major airlines are losing tens of millions of dollars a day in revenue as the coronavirus pandemic has kept would-be travelers at home, and some airline staffers who are working have caught the virus.

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The aid for airlines if part of the $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package Congress passed last month in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s designed to pay worker salaries, so airlines don’t have to make layoffs.

The government has missed its initial deadline to disburse funds to the airlines. Negotiations between the airlines and government could drag on further, as airlines seek more relief and the Treasury Department doesn’t want to be seen as throwing good money after bad at huge companies, CNBC reported.

In any case, none of this has put a damper on airline stocks. The U.S. Global Jets ETF  (JETS) , which includes all the major U.S. carriers, soared 23% this week, though it is down 51% over the past three months. 

United Airlines  (UAL)  rose 8.25% to $34.10 in after-hours trading Thursday, American Airlines  (AAL)  rose 5.52% to $13.20 and Delta Air Lines  (DAL)  gained 3.81% to $25.32.