US injects $3bn subsidies in the aviation sector

Photo: EPA

US announced another measure to spur the recovery of its aviation sector which was badly hit by the pandemic slowdown, Reuters reported. The programme of the US Transport Department is intended to compensate up to half of wages of eligible aviation manufacturing companies. The support is envisaged to last for up to six months. The funds are estimated at some three billion dollars.

The programme is funded by US Congress and has some requirements to the firms that will apply. One of the conditions include requirement not to lay off employees covered by the subsidy for at least six months.

Companies eligible include aircraft, engine, propeller or component manufacturers and companies that repair or overhaul airplanes and parts. The subsidy programme cannot cover more than 25% of an employer’s total US workforce as of April 2020 and can only cover employees with total annual compensation of $200,000 or less.

To qualify, a company must have involuntarily furloughed or laid off at least 10% of its total workforce, or have experienced at least a 15% decline in 2020 total operating revenues. More than 100,000 jobs have been lost in the aerospace industry since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Transportation Department. Before then, the US aerospace industry was estimated to employ approximately 2.2 million workers, including 1.2 million who worked in various parts of the supply chain nationwide. Boeing, which has had extensive job cuts, Raytheon Technologies and Spirit Aerosystems did not immediately respond to questions about whether they are considering applying. General Electric's aviation unit said it would not seek assistance from the programme.

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