AA has been consulting with various bankruptcy lawyers as of late. It is not certain, but it appears to be on the horizon. If a bankruptcy filing should occur, it will likely be within the coming months.
As for a government bailout such as the post 9/11 setup, it appears as that will be highly unlikely. It is the contention of the government that many factors regarding airline finance were exacerbated by the events of that day, and the situation of overcapacity became more acute in the months following.
The attitude of government currently is that it has already done enough for the airlines, and it does not wish to tap into the "trust fund" in order to prolong an inevitability, that cash starved carriers with high costs cannot continue its failing business model. It seems that UAL will be the sacrificial lamb for the greater good of the industry.
Current lobbying efforts are for the goverment to pay for airport security functions. This function alone would release the shackels of a multibillion dollar burdon that the industry has been footing for over 1 year. There is also an effort to decrease the amount of tax levied to air travellers which could make up over 26% of a ticket price if a passenger transits an airlines hub twice in a roundtrip itinerary.
If the government would view airline security as a national security function, many of our nations carriers would be in better shape. It is up to the government to raise the funds necessary to fund the TSA
. Airports with commercial air service should be the primary source of these revenues through Passenger Facilities Charges (PFC's), revenues garnered from parking facilities, and a small tax levied on goods and services obtained at local airports.
The government should release funds from the Aviation Trust Fund in order to fund security equipment and functions. This money sits in a bank and is earmarked exclusively to federal programs such as ATC renewal and facility construction.
Only 1 new airport has been built (DEN
) since these moneys have been collected since the 1980's. There are no new airports in the planning stages and most faciltiy improvements are paid for by the air carriers themselves.