US airlines asking for $50 billion in aid because of COVID-19 turmoil

Commercial aircraft cabin with rows of seats down the aisle. (Photo: GettyImages)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — U.S. airlines are asking the government for help because of the hit they're taking from COVID-19 concerns.

According to CNBC, a lobbying group representing 10 U.S. passenger and cargo airlines said they're looking for a mix of direct aid and loan guarantees. They would combine for more than $50 billion in aid.

If the government approves the bailout, it would be the first the airlines have received since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

An airline industry analyst group warns that without coordinated government and industry action now, most of the world's airlines will go bankrupt by May amid the global economic slowdown from the coronavirus pandemic.