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

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (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.

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