On Friday, the car rental company Hertz filed for bankruptcy, thus becoming the latest victim of the sudden economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic
On April 27, the company had missed a payment due to a group of lenders that leases vehicles in Hertz's day-to-day US rental fleet. The lenders extended a grace period for the payment only until May 22.
Hertz says it intends to stay in business while restructuring its debts and emerge a financially healthier company even if it declared bankruptcy.
The company rents cars under the brands Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, and Firefly, a discount brand outside the United States.
Since the pandemic hit earlier this year, Hertz has been strongly affected by the decrease in travel, and the fall in air travel, as nearly two-thirds of its revenue comes from rentals at airport locations.
To stem losses, Hertz cut 12,000 of its 38,000 employees in North America, while another 4,000 are on furloughs.
Hertz has been renting cars since 1918 and has survived the Great Depression, the virtual halt of US auto production during World War II, and numerous oil price shocks.