U.S. ready to aid airlines if Iraq conflict hurts


Aug 20, 2002
U.S. ready to aid airlines if Iraq conflict hurts
Tuesday March 18, 12:25 pm ET
WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) - The Bush administration stands ready to aid the ailing U.S. airline industry if it suffers further from a conflict in Iraq, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said on Tuesday.
We will be ready to move very quickly if the need arises, Mineta told an aviation industry conference. He declined to elaborate on what measures the administration could take.
The leading association for the major U.S. airlines said last week that an Iraq war lasting 90 days could prompt an annual industry loss of $10.7 billion, more bankruptcies, and cost 70,000 jobs.
Mineta said the government was focused on how to aid the industry, trying to ensure that we are prepared for any outcome. He said the administration was in daily contact with airline executives.
President George W. Bush gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein until late Wednesday U.S. time to leave the country or face an invasion to eliminate alleged stores of weapons of mass destruction.

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