US injects fresh $14bn to support ailing airlines hurt by pandemic

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US approved another measure to back sectors of economy that have been affected by pandemic related slowdown, Reuters reported. A total of 14 billion dollars will be available to ailing airlines to support personnel payments. The amount comes out of the bigger relief package approved earlier by the US Congress.

The support will be disbursed to five troubled airlines. It would be the third round of support for the pandemic-hit industry. American Airlines and United Airlines have warned of some 27,000 furloughs without an extension of the current package that expires on April 1.

The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee approved the $14 billion for airlines and $1 billion for contractors to cover payroll through September.

The funds will be a part of the the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill proposed by President Joe Biden, whose initial plan did not include new money for airlines. American Airlines said in a statement after the committee vote that the payroll support program, which covers employee wages and bans job cuts, “has been a lifeline for our team members”. US airlines are losing  millions of dollars every day as the pandemic crushes travel demand.

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