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Nov 13, 2002
U.S. airlines--70,000 jobs lost if Iraq war begins
Tuesday March 11, 11:12 am ET
WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) - U.S. airlines could slash 70,000 jobs and lose up to $4 billion a quarter if there is war with Iraq and the government does not give the industry more help, the biggest domestic carriers said on Tuesday.
The Air Transport Association, which represents major airlines, said in a report on airline finances that its members would take aggressive steps to counter any sharp drop in travel demand and an increase in costs caused by an Iraqi war.
Big airlines are seeking government assistance to stem rising fuel costs and ease taxes that are cutting into their bottom line and contributing to losses that soared to a record $10 billion in 2002.
In its report, the industry restated its belief the impact of war could prompt more bankruptcies or force some financially fragile carriers into liquidation. Recovery would take several years and ticket prices would fall further to spur demand, it said.