U.S. Airlines Apply For U.S. Payroll Help But Terms Still Unclear

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major U.S. airlines applied on Friday for payroll grants from the U.S. Treasury meant to keep workers employed during a sharp downturn resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, but while talks over the terms were expected to continue in coming days some warned the funds would not be enough to help them through their toughest crisis ever.

American Airlines Group Inc, United Airlines Holdings Inc, Delta Air Lines Inc, Southwest Airlines Co, JetBlue Airways Corp and Hawaiian Airlines each said they submitted grant applications, but did not disclose details or terms.

Treasury asked companies to propose financial instruments such as warrants or equity options as possible taxpayer compensation for up to $32 billion in payroll grants for airlines, cargo carriers and airport contractors under the CARES Act passed by Congress last week.

Treasury set a 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) Friday deadline to expedite the grants. There is a second final deadline on April 27.

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