American Airlines passenger planes crowd a runway where they are parked due to flight reductions to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. March 23, 2020.
Nick Oxford | REUTERS
U.S. airlines JetBlue, American, United and Delta on Friday submitted applications to the Treasury Department for government grants to not furlough employees through Sept. 30 despite an unprecedented decline in air travel demand. Now they have to negotiate the details.
Carriers had until 5 p.m. ET Friday to apply for $25 billion in grants in exchange for not furloughing workers or cutting their pay rates through Sept. 30, aid that airlines and labor unions lobbied for and Congress approved in a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package last week. The aid also allows for $29 billion in loans for passenger and cargo airlines.
The coronavirus has devastated air travel demand, prompting airlines to plead with their employees to take unpaid and…