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Alaska GOP politicians ask feds to rescue virus-hit state airlines

ALASKA's entirely Republican congressional delegation warned US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that many of its airlines, including its largest regional carrier, RavnAir Group, were on the verge of collapse, according to a letter seen by Reuters

27 April 2020 - 18:22

ALASKA's entirely Republican congressional delegation warned US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that many of its airlines, including its largest regional carrier, RavnAir Group, were on the verge of collapse, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

'Without badly needed federal support, many of our air carriers are in danger of bankruptcy and failure and could leave many of our rural and Alaska Native communities completely isolated,' said US Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Don Young in a letter.



RavnAir filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday, laying off nearly its entire staff and grounding all of its 72 planes, saying it was clear that government aid would not arrive before it ran out of cash.



Its Chapter 11 filing underscored the challenges facing other US regional carriers that, like larger airlines, are seeking federal aid to help them through the worst downturn the industry has ever faced.



Alaska is more dependent on passenger and air cargo transport than any other state in the country because over 80 per cent of the communities are only accessible by air.



'This lack of air service, could damage our other industries such as oil and gas, mining, seafood and tourism,' the congressional delegation said in the letter.


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