Northwest Airlines takes jab at United’s bid for federal loan guarantee. United has $2.7 billion in cash and $3 billion in aircraft that it owns outright. Northwest just raised $750 million in bonds back by their aircraft. Is there any reason United can’t do the same? United wants a subsidized loan of $1.8 billion from the federal government, but the argument about lack of access to capital markets seems weak — especially when Delta has recently raised $3.5 billion on its own.