With President Trump poised to sign the bill in to law as soon as it passes the House, expected to happen soon, a $2-trillion-plus economic stimulus package is set to take effect soon, with airlines getting billions in bailout funds given the loss of the vast majority of its business as the coronavirus global pandemic has kept potential passengers at home. There are some big conditions to the bailout funds, though, and some of them affect the airlines’ pilots and other employees.
The airlines will be getting $58 billion in aid, with $29 billion in grants and $29 billion in guaranteed loans.
There’s good news for pilots and other airline employees. Under the terms of the soon-to-be law (barring last-minute surprises), the airlines would not be allowed to lay off large numbers of workers and would commit largely to keeping pilots flying through September. It also has language that limits pay cuts and mandates executive salary. Airports also got a big boost, with a $10 billion injection of capital, also with retention strings.
There’s also $17 billion in loans that are not specifically directed toward any company or sector, but it’s widely believed that some or much of that could be directed toward Boeing, which has been under the gun for the past nearly two years after the 737 Max crisis that is still playing out, and the impact of COVID-19 on the Seattle area, where much of Boeing’s production work is done.