The stimulus package passed Saturday contained about $14 billion in continued support for airlines and mandates relative employment stability until the end of September. The funding is the third round of relief under the Payroll Support Program and precludes recipients from furloughing, laying off or cutting the pay of existing workers until Sept. 30. It also prevents the companies from buying back their own shares, paying dividends or boosting executive compensation beyond certain limits. Airlines have already received $40 billion under the first two rounds.
The industry appears to be on the rebound and it’s likely this will be the last round of government payments, and the Allied Pilots Association issued a statement suggesting the worst of the pandemic is behind everyone. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, our airlines will be well-positioned to continue global vaccine distribution and drive economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes,” said President Capt. Eric Ferguson. “By investing in the airline industry’s future, Congress is making a vital investment in our nation’s future.”