$50 Billion Airline Bailout Now in Works as McConnell Senate Drags Feet on Basic Aid and Testing for Vulnerable Families

Washington D.C. – Reportedly, the U.S. airline industry is “in talks with” the federal government for an up to $50 billion bailout to cushion against the coronavirus fallout, including tax breaks and $25 billion in cash grants. Meanwhile, the McConnell-led U.S. Senate took the weekend off rather than immediately take up an emergency aid package focused on everyday Americans hit by the historic health crisis, which passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House on Friday. Consumer watchdog group Allied Progress urged the Trump administration and Senate to get their priorities in order and focus on establishing a baseline of health, food and economic security for everyday families impacted by this crisis before they start negotiating giant bailouts for industries like the luxury cruise lines and airlines that made billions of dollars in profits last year. Three of the biggest American airline companies made $9 Billion in 2019 while giving shareholders nearly $5.9 Billion in stock buybacks and dividends and paying their CEOs nearly $37 million in compensation the year before.

“The whole country needs help during this crisis, but President Trump seems to be singularly focused on the fate of the stock market and billion-dollar industries like airlines and cruise ships,” said Derek Martin, director of Allied Progress. “Any industry that was doing well enough to issue billions in stock buybacks for their shareholders last year is infinitely more prepared for a rainy day than the millions of Americans who were working paycheck to paycheck before this crisis hit. It’s a matter of priorities. The administration and the Senate should focus on passing comprehensive paid sick leave, making sure any American who needs it can get a coronavirus test, and ensuring that those who are facing difficulty paying rent next month are taken care of. The industry that brought us $200 change fees can take a number.”

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Three Of The Largest American Airline Companies Made A Combined Total Of Over $9 Billion In 2019 While Giving Shareholders Nearly $5.9 Billion In Stock Buybacks And Dividends. In 2018, Their CEOs Made Nearly $37 Million In Compensation.

In 2019, Delta Air Lines Made Over $4.7 Billion In Net Income And Gave Shareholders $3 Billion In Stock Buybacks And Dividends. During The Most Recent Year With Data Available, The Company’s CEO Was Compensated Nearly $15 Million.

In 2019, Delta Air Lines Made $4.7 Billion In Net Income.

In 2019, Delta Air Lines Made $4,767,000,000 In Net Income. [Delta Air Lines, Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, 2019]

In 2018, Delta Air Lines’ CEO Made $14.9 Million In Total Compensation.

In 2018, Delta Air Lines CEO Edward H. Bastian Made $14,982,488 In Total Compensation. [Delta Air Lines, 2019 Proxy Statement, accessed 03/10/2020]

In 2019, Delta Air Lines Gave Shareholders $3 Billion In Stock Buybacks And Dividends.

In 2019, Delta Air Lines Gave Shareholders $3 Billion In Stock Buybacks And Dividends. “We returned 72% of free cash flow, or $3 billion, to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.” [Delta Air Lines, Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, 2019]

During 2019, American Airlines Group Made Over $1.6 Billion In Net Income And Gave Shareholders $1.1 Billion In Stock Buybacks While Paying Out $178 Million In Shareholder Dividends. In The Most Recent Year With Data Available, The Company’s CEO Was Compensated Nearly $12 Million.

In 2019, American Airlines Inc. Made $1.9 Billion In Net Income.

In 2019, American Airlines Group Made $1,686,000,000 In Net Income. [American Airlines Group, Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, 2019]

In 2018, American Airline Group’s CEO Made Just Under $12 Million In Total Compensation.

In 2018, American Airlines Group CEO Doug Parker Made $11,999,517 In Total Compensation.[American Airlines Group, 2019 Proxy Statement, accessed 03/10/2020]

In 2019, American Airline Group Held $1.1 Billion In Stock Buybacks And Paid Out $178 Million In Shareholder Dividends.

In 2019, American Airline Group Held $1.1. Billion In Stock Buybacks. “In 2019, we repurchased 33.8 million shares of AAG common stock for $1.1 billion at a weighted average cost per share of $32.09.” [American Airlines Group, Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, 2019]

In 2019, American Airline Group Paid $178 Million In Shareholder Dividends. “The total cash payment for dividends during the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 was $178 million and $186 million,” [American Airlines Group, Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, 2019]

In 2019, United Airline Holdings Made Over $3 Billion In Net Income And Engaged In $1.6 Billion In Stock Buybacks. During The Most Recent Year With Data Available, The Company’s CEO Made Over $10 Million.

In 2019, United Airline Holdings Made Over $3 Billion In Net Income.

In 2019, United Airline Holdings Made $3,009,000,000 In Net Income. [United Airline Holdings, Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, 2019] 

In 2018, United Airline Holdings’ CEO Made Over $10 Million In Total Compensation.

In 2018, United Airline Holdings CEO Oscar Munoz Made $10,493,832 In Total Compensation. [United Airline Holdings, 2019 Proxy Statement, 04/11/2019]

In 2019, United Airline Holdings Held $1.6 Billion In Stock Buybacks.

In 2019, United Airline Holdings Held $1.6 Billion In Stock Buybacks. “In 2019, UAL repurchased approximately 19.2 million of its common stock for $1.6 billion. As of December 31, 2019, the Company had approximately $3.1 billion remaining to purchase shares under its share repurchase programs.” [United Airline Holdings, Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, 2019]

In March 2020, United Airlines Announced Its CEO Would Forgo His Base Salary “Through At Least The End Of June” – His Base Salary For All Of 2018 Only Made Up 11.9 Percent Of His Total Compensation.

On March 10, 2020, United Airlines Announced That Its CEO And President Would “Forgo Their Base Salaries Through At Least The End Of June.” “Meanwhile, United Airlines said […] that its CEO and president will forgo their base salaries through at least the end of June, and that it plans to cut 20 percent of flights indefinitely until it sees demand pick up again.” [Rachel Seigel, “Airlines slash routes, outlook and executive pay on coronavirus fallout,” The Washington Post, 03/10/20] 

In 2018, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz’s Base Salary Of $1,250,000 Was Only 11.9 Percent Of His Total Compensation. [United Airline Holdings, 2019 Proxy Statement, 04/11/2019]

The Airline Industry Has Donated Over $445,000 In Political Contributions To Donald Trump.

The Airline Industry Donated $263,901 To Donald Trump And His Associated Campaign Committees During The 2016 Election Cycle. [“Airline Industry Top 20 Recipients 2016 Election Cycle,” OpenSecrets.org, accessed 03/10/20]

The Airline Industry Has Donated $184,720 To Donald Trump And His Associated Campaign Committees During The 2020 Election Cycle So Far. [“Airline Industry Top 20 Recipients 2020 Election Cycle,” OpenSecrets.org, accessed 03/10/20]

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