FILE PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines jet taxis on the runway at Washington National Airport in Washington, U.S., August 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

(Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) said on Thursday it intends to file an application with the U.S. Treasury department for aid to help it ride out the sharp drop in travel demand caused by the massive lockdowns because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The aid could be in form of grants that could boost liquidity and provide job security for its employees from April 1 through Sept. 30, Southwest said in a regulatory filing.

Major global airlines have rolled out layoffs, furloughs and capacity cuts over the next few months, as they look to save cash amid weak demand.

They have also urged governments to help as they struggle to stay afloat by shoring up liquidity as well as by reducing capital expenditure and costs.

Last week, Congress approved $25 billion in cash grants to U.S. airlines for payroll costs.

Southwest also said it has drawn down $2.33 billion in credit and had $3.33 billion outstanding as of April 1, under the credit agreement. (bit.ly/2R2K6pO)

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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