The airline industry as a whole has been struggling ever since the pandemic began. Manufacturers and airlines alike saw a severe decrease in activity, which led to many of them spending large amounts of money and furloughing or laying off workers while making little profit in return. As such, the government has taken steps to help shore up the industry and those who work in it. Now, it seems one of these programs is set to start soon.
This past Wednesday, the U.S.Transportation Department announced that businesses who are eligible for funding through the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection program should be prepared to apply for funding. The protection program applies to businesses that are engaged in the manufacturing, repair, and maintenance of aircraft. These funds are intended to pay for up to half of the compensation costs for select employees for up to six months. Additionally, these employees cannot be involuntarily furloughed or laid off during that time, according to the department.
Similar relief measures have been taken to help airliners, which saw a massive decline in business due to the pandemic. This in turn had a ripple effect throughout the entire industry, as airliners canceled flights and grounded aircraft at higher rates, limiting the number of repairs and maintenance needed. Many also cancelled or delayed new aircraft orders, which hurt aircraft manufacturers.
However, with vaccinations rolling out throughout both the country and large parts of the world, it’s widely expected that the sector will begin to rebound this year. In the meantime, relief programs such as these will help shore aircraft manufacturers so they can take advantage of the turnaround. The Transportation Department estimates that thousands of businesses will be eligible for the funding, which has a maximum of $3 billion available.