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US mulls third financial aid package for airlines

written by Hannah Dowling | February 10, 2021

A United Airlines 737 at O’Hare in Chicago

US lawmakers are reportedly set to vote on Wednesday on a plan to provide a third COVID-19 relief package to the transportation sectors, including airlines and airports, to the tune of $57 billion.

The proposed packages include $14 billion in payroll support for airlines, $8 billion for US airports and concessionaires, $1 billion for airline contractors, and $3 billion for aerospace manufacturing.

The $3 billion dedicated for aerospace manufacturing under the proposal would see a 50 per cent government subsidy to cover pay, benefits and training for employees at risk of being furloughed or who were furloughed due to the pandemic.

The third US COVID financial assistance packaged will total $1.9 trillion in total.

Earlier proposals for a third national financial aid package under the Biden administration included just $20 billion for America’s transport sector, with zero additional help for airlines or airports.

“This plan takes another critical step toward preventing essential systems from collapsing under the weight of the pandemic and will help to keep millions of Americans out of unemployment lines,” said Peter DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that will vote on most of the provisions.

The House Financial Services Committee will vote on the package on Wednesday.


To date, airlines in the US have received $40 billion in payroll support since March 2020.

The additional $14 billion under the proposal would reportedly keep nearly 30,000 airline workers on the job until this stimulus runs out, on 30 September.

Airlines and industry groups have been advocating for additional financial support for months, with major airlines American and United together informing 17,000 workers that they are at risk of furlough when the current COVID government aid package expires on 31 March.


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