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Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, called on four cargo airlines to return pandemic relief aid.
Clyburn argued $630 million in aid to Kalitta Air, Atlas Air, Western Global Airlines and Amerijet International for payroll support was unmerited.
A review by Clyburn’s subcommittee determined the cargo airlines thrived in the new economic landscape that resulted from the pandemic. The subcommittee noted Atlas Air received more than $406 million in relief aid; Kalitta Air received more than $161 million; Western Global Airlines received more than $34 million; and Amerijet International received more than $30 million.
A provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Emergency Security, or CARES, Act, established the Payroll Support Program. The program’s aim was to ensure aviation jobs were preserved and that air carrier industry workers were adequately compensated.
“The company’s financial success suggests that Atlas Air did not need taxpayer funds to help retain its workers.”
Clyburn wrote to Atlas Air Worldwide CEO John Dietrich on Oct. 19: “Given Congress’ goal of preserving jobs, I urge you to return the funds or, if the money was in fact needed for this purpose, demonstrate why this was the case despite the company’s recent success.”
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