Airlines get $15B in COVID aid to bring back 32,000 workers


The stimulus bill making its way through Congress will give US airlines $15 billion in payroll aid to help them bring back more than 32,000 workers sidelined by the pandemic, according to reports.

The money included in the $900 billion spending package lawmakers unveiled Sunday will allow major carriers to restore pay for their furloughed staff through March 31, Reuters reported.

The program is reportedly similar to a $25 billion bailout airlines got from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. That required airlines to keep their employees on the payroll through the end of September, but carriers such as United and American furloughed thousands of staff after the aid ran out.

Alaska Airlines and Spirit Airlines have also sidelined workers who would likely return in the weeks ahead, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The broader spending package still has to be passed by Congress and signed by President Trump. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill Monday.

The reported payroll aid would extend another lifeline to airlines as the coronavirus crisis continues to depress demand for air travel.

Passenger volumes are almost 70 percent below where they were a year ago and US airlines are burning through $180 million in cash a day, according to industry group Airlines for America.

With Post wires

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