"For the past six months, the American taxpayers have spent $25 billion covering the payroll obligations of passenger airlines", US Senators Pat Toomey and Mike Lee said in a press release. "The excess capacity of the airline sector will not be resolved in the near future and continuing to force the entire payroll obligation onto the taxpayers is not sustainable".
Instead of collecting another round of grant funding, airlines should take advantage of low-interest, long-term loans that are still available under the CARES Act to survive the pandemic.
"The favourable terms of these loans will make it possible for the airlines to repay the taxpayers once air travel picks back up", the release said.
Any legislation to help airlines should offer "adequate protections for taxpayers", the release added.
The travel data company, Cirium, found that 43 commercial airlines have failed since January this year, compared to 46 in the whole of 2019 and 56 in all of 2018. A failed airline is one that has completely ceased or suspended operations, according to Cirium.
US airlines continue to crisscross the nation with a surfeit of empty seats while some international flights are nearly empty. Congress required that airlines continue servicing existing routes as a condition to receive $25 billion in grants under the CARES Act.