The UK chancellor has told airlines to find other forms of funding and not turn first to the government for help getting through the coronavirus crisis.
Demand for tickets has collapsed forcing companies to ground aircraft.
Aviation bosses have been lobbying the government for a targeted aid package to stop firms going under as a result of the slump in demand.
But in a letter on Tuesday Rishi Sunak said the government would only step in as “a last resort”.
Mr Sunak instead urged airlines to try and raise money from shareholders.
He said the government would only enter into negotiations with individual airlines once they had “exhausted other options”.
But industry group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned of an “apocalypse” in the aviation sector as it called on