"The major U.S. airlines play a vital role in our economy and are critical to domestic and international travel and commerce. These airlines are among the companies most heavily affected by the disruptions to social and economic activity caused by the pandemic," Mnuchin said in a written statement.
He said the Treasury Department would finalize agreements with the airlines “and provide the airlines the ability to access these loans if they so choose.”
The letters of intent set out the terms for the loans.
Delta already accepted $5.4 billion in federal relief funding, including grants and a $1.6 billion low-interest loan, as part of $25 billion in rescue financing for passenger airlines.
The funding conditions restrict airlines from cutting workers' pay rates or benefits or conducting involuntary furloughs through Sept. 30.
However, Delta has already notified pilots that it may need to furlough thousands of pilots. The airline also cut many employees' hours and total pay. More than 40,000 Delta workers volunteered to take unpaid leaves of absence. And the company is cutting its staff through buyouts and early retirements.
Delta has been raising billions in financing on its own in an effort to sustain its business while travel remains down significantly due to COVID-19.
As a condition of accepting loans from the federal government, airlines must provide the government with warrants, equity or senior debt instruments.
The loans are intended to be available to airlines that do not otherwise have credit reasonably available, according to the CARES Act. They restrict airlines' ability to do stock buybacks and pay dividends and how much they pay executives.