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Hawaii News

Hawaiian among airlines to share $25B in payroll aid

The nation’s biggest airlines, including Hawaiian Airlines, have tentatively agreed to terms for $25 billion in government aid to pay workers and avoid massive layoffs in an industry that has been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The assistance will include a mix of cash and loans, with the government getting warrants that can be converted into small ownership stakes in the leading airlines.

Ten airlines — including Delta, American, United and Southwest — fell in line after objecting to some of the Treasury Department’s demands. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that the department would work to finalize the deals and hand over the money as quickly as possible.

With the payroll grants, airlines and their workers got special treatment in last month’s $2.2 trillion measure designed to help businesses and workers get through the pandemic, which has hit every sector of the economy.

The payroll aid is roughly based on each airline’s spending on wages and benefits from April through September 2019.

Other participating carriers are Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways and SkyWest Airlines.

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