$15 billion airline aid bill passed in U.S.

by Canadian Shipper

U.S. Congress has approved a $15 billion emergency aid package for the U.S. airline industry, which includes five billion in direct compensation for losses incurred beginning on Sept. 11 and ten billion in federal loan guarantees, as well as liability protection for American Airlines and United Airlines.

The government has also agreed to provide war risk insurance for airlines’ domestic and international operations. The legislation was signed by President George W. Bush Saturday.

Of the five billion in direct cash aid, $4.5 billion will be divided among passenger and combination carriers with $500 million set aside for all-cargo airlines.

Funds will be apportioned based on airline size, measured in ASMs for passenger carriers and ATMs for cargo airlines. Disbursement of the funds will be the responsibility of the newly created Air Transportation Stabilization Board, comprising the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of the Treasury, the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and the Comptroller General.

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