Major U.S. airlines sought a government bailout of more than $50 billion (41 billion pounds) as the White House is urgently drafting a financial assistance package in the wake of the steep falloff in U.S. travel demand sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

A trade association warned that without action airlines could run out of money by year-end – and even sooner if credit card companies started withholding payments. Without action soon, airlines and others in the sector could furlough tens of thousands of workers.

Airlines for America, the trade group representing American Airlines (AAL.O), United Airlines Inc (UAL.O), Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) and others, said the industry needs $25 billion in grants, $25 billion in loans and significant tax relief to survive. They also seek tax relief that could be worth tens of billions of dollars through the end of at least 2021.