The Air Transportation Stabilization Board has denied United’s request for a federally backed $1.8 billion loan. Apparently they believe the airline can survive without it, not surprising since the airline’s chief executive more or less said the same thing last week.
Of course, if the airline couldn’t attract financing on its own, there would be an equally good argument to deny federal support.
More fundamentally, what is an emergency measure designed to address potential liquidity problems in the immediate aftermath of September 11th still doing considering financial support for airlines three years later? And why are they open to considering another application from the airline in the future? Will we ever get out from under this process?