Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Airlines, believes the $37 billion in subsidies the airline industry got wasn’t a bailout because 30 percent of it was in the form of loans and it allowed the retention of skilled employees. (From the start of COVID, we argued that any and all taxpayer support for businesses should have been in the form of low interest loans TO BE PAID BACK when the economy recovered.
Now “No Bailout Bastian” acknowledged in an interview with the Washington Post that the government support may have one too far. “You can debate the second, third extensions of PSP (Payroll Support Programs), just as I think everyone discusses the impact of continued taxpayer funding and support for the economy broadly,” he told the Post.
Gary Leff, who blogs about airlines on the popular View From The Wing site, says Bastian’s concession is noteworthy. “Remember that Delta had already committed to no involuntary furloughs before the second and third tranches (of PCP) were passed,” he notes.
We aren’t mad at Delta, but the fool politicians who handed out this free corporate welfare like they were passing out candy.