Airlines on track to get $ 15 billion in federal aid


A person walks into Reagan National Airport on November 25, 2020, before the Thanksgiving holiday in Arlington.

Hannah McKay | Reuters

American Airlines could receive $ 15 billion in additional federal aid to pay its workers under the latest federal bipartisan coronavirus relief package, which could be finalized early Sunday, according to people familiar with the case.

Under the new round of aid, the carrier would have to recall more than 32,000 workers, who were suffering this fall.

The CARES Act in March allocated $ 25 billion for airlines on the condition that they maintain minimum service levels and keep workers on payroll until 30 September. Labor unions and airlines urged lawmakers to approve additional aid, as Congress and the White House remained. Constraints on a deal for a national coronavirus support package.

After the terms of the basic aid expired, United Airlines and American Airlines began to fire around 32,000 employees in October, while those carriers and other airlines urged workers to buy and take early retirement after thousands of other jobs. Has shed Southwest Airlines, which has never let workers in its nearly 50 years of flight, warned workers earlier this month that it could cut about 7,000 employees unless it cut costs with labor unions can.

Additional aid for the struggling sector, previously reported by Reuters, would put airline employees on payroll until the end of March if approved.

Even ahead of major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, the first round of aid ended without a significant rebound in air travel. Carriers have warned that bookings have declined as coronovirus inspections have increased and new travel restrictions have been introduced, hurting their ability to rein in cash burning.

The Transportation Security Administration said on Sunday that it screened 1.07 million people at US airports, up 25% from the week before, but less than half of the roughly 2.5 million people screened a year earlier.

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