Airlines Get $15 Billion in Aid — or $500,000 for Each Rehired Worker
US airlines will receive $ 15 billion with the new Covid-19 aid package. The money is intended to put around 32,000 employees back on the payroll.
But the airline business is in dire shape thanks to the virus. Traffic has dropped by two-thirds and the industry is not seeing a return anytime soon, which means many of those re-hired could potentially lose their jobs again as early as March.
"That's right: the American taxpayer provides nearly $ 500,000 for every airline employee to work for three months," Bloomberg's Joe Nocera said in a comment on Tuesday.
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The major players in the aviation industry appear to have enough capital to weather the downturn on their own, says Nocera: “United Airlines Holdings Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc., which laid off the vast majority of those 32,000 employees, are both burning between 25 and 30 million US dollars in cash per day - but everyone has more than $ 15 billion in liquidity. "
The remarkable level of support for a relatively small group of multibillion-dollar corporations could have something to do with their political influence in Washington, Nocera says, not least with their ability to hire lobbyists.
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