Good news for US airlines: $14 billion bailout and no domestic testing

Shutterstock / Markus Mainka

The United States lawmakers approved a $14 billion bailout package to support the country’s airlines and their workers through September 2021. 

The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee voted in favor of the third bailout package for the country’s airlines. As part of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package offered by the Joe Biden administration, US airlines will receive $14 billion for payroll support, as well as $1 billion dedicated for contractors. The approved state aid is estimated to save around 30,000 aviation jobs through September 2021.

Furthermore, on February 12, 2021, the White House gave in to the pressure from the airline industry and announced it was dropping the plan of mandatory COVID-19 testing for domestic flights. Shortly after, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that “at this time, CDC is not recommending required point of departure testing for domestic travel.”

On February 10, 2021, the United States House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved $8 billion to US airports and $3 billion for a temporary payroll support program for aerospace manufacturers. 

On February 3, 2021, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) announced it would send furlough notices to about 13,000 employees as a second round of government’s payroll aid was expiring. Earlier in January 2021, United Airlines also sent furlough warnings to 14,000 staff members.

In December 2020, the US airlines received a $15 billion state aid that helped the carriers to recall furloughed workers and pay the employee wages and benefits, avoiding layoffs until March 31, 2021. After receiving the aid, the airlines called back more than 32,000 workers who were furloughed in October 2020.


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