The injection of funding for the aviation industry from the US government under the CARES Act has kept some employees on payroll and stalled complete collapse. But the funding is running dry, both the $50 billion for airlines and the $350 billion set aside for small businesses and hospitality. A second round of coronavirus relief has been called for to save tens of thousands of jobs in the airline sector.
Some airlines and hotels are receiving funds from credit card issuers via co-branded cards, which are seeing more consumer spending than some proprietary cards, and giving a significant boost to travel companies in urgent need of capital.
American Express recently renewed a multi-year agreement with British Airways worth $955 million, buying the British Airways travel currency, Avios points, while Hilton sold its Honors points to Amex for $1 billion earlier this year. Amex will use the points for future promotions, rewards and incentives.
IATA expects the global airline industry to lose $84.3 billion in 2020, while the US Travel Association estimates $505 billion in losses for the domestic travel industry, including hospitality.