Many airline flights nearly empty as virus undercuts travel

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Posted at 10:32 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 22:32:05-04

Airlines are canceling thousands of flights, and even those that remain are mostly empty.

Airlines are also drafting contingency plans in case there aren't enough air traffic controllers or airport security officers to keep flying. Still, airline stocks soared Tuesday on reports that Congress and the Trump administration are close to a deal on economic stimulus, including help for the carriers.

Airlines officials say their situation is dire, and they are lobbying for at least $50 billion in help from the federal government.

But lawmakers disagree on whether that should include cash grants or just help in getting loans to the airlines, which were highly profitable before the coronavirus outbreak.