The United States House signed a letter backing a six-month extension of a $32 billion payroll aid program for the aviation industry, while Senate Republicans agreed to the Airport association’s plea for additional $10 billion.
It is still uncertain if both programs will eventually be enacted, but the events mark a significant step for the U.S. air travel industry and its prospects to receive further funding.
US Congress already provided $32 billion in payroll assistance to the US aviation industry in March 2020, a sum which is due to expire before October. The airlines were asking for further extension of the program, claiming hundreds of thousands of workers could be fired after the CARES Act expiry date on October 1, 2020.
$10 billion assistance for airports was also approved in March, with American Association of Airport Executives initially asking for another $13 billion extension.
The US aviation industry was heavily impacted by new coronavirus pandemic. In July 2020, major airlines reported quarterly losses of billions of dollars, and although the industry shows first signs of recovery, it may take years for the air travel to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.