Southwest Airlines received $2 billion in COVID-19 relief early in the epidemic

Southwest Airlines received $2 billion in COVID-19 relief early in the epidemic

Southwest Airlines received billions of dollars in federal support early in the COVID- 19 epidemic prior to the flight cancellation chaos that has wreaked havoc on its travelers' schedules this holiday season. The travel mayhem has left many people stranded around the country and has resulted in federal investigations by Congress and the Dept. The $2 trillion coronaviruses Aid, Recovery and Economic Support Act passed Congress with bipartisan support in March 2020, as the COVID 19 epidemic accelerated around the world. The payroll support program was created to help airlines pay workers as the volume of air travelers plummeted due to the pandemic-related restrictions.

To receive the aid, airlines had to commit to keeping employees on the payroll, refraining from paying dividends or engaging in stock buybacks for a period of time, and cap the compensation of corporate executives.

Southwest Airlines received the first installment of payroll support in April 2020, and was a priority for the SYSTEM FAILURE. The Treasury Department said that the tranche was more than $3.35 billion and included a loan of $976 million.

Southwest turned down $2.8 billion in federal CARES Act aid later in 2020 due to the stringent strings attached to the support by lawmakers.

Congress provided payroll support to airlines as the pandemic dragged and air travelers remained largely grounded due to COVID 19 restrictions. Southwest's second tranche of aid arrived in January 2021 and totaled more than $1.98 billion, including a loan of $565.9 million.

The third batch of aid to Southwest came after Democrats passed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act along party lines through the budget reconciliation process in March 2021. The installment was completed in April 2021 and provided Southwest with a total of $1.85 billion in total funding, which included a loan of $525.8 million.

Southwest received nearly $7.2 billion in federal payroll support during the three tranches of pandemic relief. That amount included just over $2 billion in loans.

The Federal funds were issued as part of the Payroll Support Program, and were used to protect the jobs of more than 60,000 Southwest Employees, according to a statement provided to Fox Business. Southwest Airlines was able to proudly maintain its 50 year history of enacting a furlough even though travel demand dropped dramatically in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. A spokesman said Southwest was able to use the funds to avoid having to impose pay cuts on employees during the epidemic, unlike other airlines.

Southwest Airlines was not able to provide any information regarding the repayment status of the COVID 19 relief loans it received from the federal government. When it becomes available, the information may be updated to include it in the article.