The Hill
Karl Evers-Hillstrom

The top trade group representing U.S. airlines defended this year’s flight delays and cancellations that prompted questions from lawmakers about how carriers spent $54 billion in federal pandemic aid.

In a letter to lawmakers, Airlines for America President Nicholas Calio said Tuesday that airlines spent Congress’ Payroll Support Program funds (PSP) exactly as they were intended — to keep workers employed — and that the government aid prevented the industry from collapsing when COVID-19 left airports nearly empty.  

“Without PSP, U.S. airlines would have been forced to implement massive layoffs, dramatically reduce service and cancel fleet orders,” Calio wrote.

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