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US Airlines Reach Agreements on Payroll Support Funds



U.S. airlines have begun receiving their first disbursements under the second round of payroll support funding as part of the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package agreed to last month.

After reaching agreements with the Treasury Department, American Airlines will receive $3.09 billion, Delta Air Lines will get $2.9 billion, Southwest Airlines will receive $1.73 billion, Hawaiian Airlines will get $167.5 million and Allegiant Air will receive $91.8 million.

The initial round of government aid allocated $25 billion to the airlines but expired at the end of September 2020, leading carriers, including American and United Airlines, to cut tens of thousands of jobs in the fall. The latest Payroll Support Program extension includes a combined $15 billion for airlines put toward salaries, wages and employee benefits through March 31, 2021.

Grants will account for a majority of the funds, about 70 percent, while the remainder will be low-interest loans airlines are required to repay.

As a condition for accepting the assistance, airlines had to recall all of their furloughed workers at full pay for the period from December 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021.

Airlines began receiving payments last Friday with the remaining disbursements expected later this quarter.

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