March 24, 2020 / 4:09 PM / 11 days ago

U.S. lawmakers nearing deal for $32 billion aviation sector bailout

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO March 24 (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers are nearing agreement on a package of grants for passenger and cargo airlines and contractors worth $32 billion as part of a massive U.S. stimulus and rescue package amid the massive travel demand falloff because of the coronavirus outbreak, three people briefed on the matter said.

The deal is expected to include $25 billion in grants for passenger airlines, $4 billion in grants for cargo carriers and $3 billion for contractors like caterers. All funds would be directed toward payroll costs. The final deal is also expected to include another $29 billion in loans for passenger and cargo airlines. Airlines have warned that without cash grants they could be forced to layoff hundreds of thousands of people. (Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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