Airlines Secure $15B Payroll Reimbursement In Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Deal

Airlines Secure $15B Payroll Reimbursement In Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Deal

The U.S. Congress members reached a bipartisan agreement on the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package on Sunday, which included much-needed relief aid for the airlines, after elongated negotiations.

What Happened: The latest tranche of the relief package includes $15 billion in aid for the airline industry as reimbursement to reinstate payrolls.

The $15 billion aid comes with similar restrictions as the previous aid that expired in October. Reportedly, airline carriers will attempt to bring workers back but the period without the aid has made it difficult, according to the Airlines for America trade group.

As many as 32,000 airline workers were furloughed after the last round of stimulus expired. As per an earlier report, many employees took a pay cut and expected the new relief bill to cover airline salaries through March 2021.

Why It Matters: The pandemic has severely dented the airlines. Over the last seven days, airlines passenger traffic was roughly 35% compared to last year, as per Bloomberg. According to TSA data, it is the lowest year-over-year comparison since September.

Airlines are losing money due to a steep drop in travel. Though lawmakers from both parties have called for more aviation support, congressional leaders have not agreed on the provisions for a broader relief bill.

Apart from the $15 billion payroll aid, the bill also includes $1 billion for airline contractor payrolls, $10 billion for state highways, $2 billion for airports and airport concessionaires, $2 billion for the private motor coach, school bus, and ferry industries, and $1 billion for Amtrak, Bloomberg reports.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill on Monday followed by the Senate, as per Reuters. Outgoing President Donald Trump has expressed his support and will sign the bill into law, a White House spokesperson said.

© 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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