The relief is similar to a much larger aid program for U.S. airlines, which have received $54 billion in the past year and a half. The airlines also agreed not to furlough any workers, but they eliminated tens of thousands of jobs anyway by offering incentives for employees to quit or retire early.
Critics labeled the airline aid a bailout that amounted to several hundred thousand dollars for each job that was spared — 75,000 jobs, by some estimates. Defenders such as American Airlines CEO Doug Parker say that without the government's help, airlines would have been forced to shut down when traffic fell to levels not seen since the 1950s.
The Federal Aviation Administration, part of the Transportation Department, recently awarded $100 million to aerospace companies including Boeing, General Electric's aviation division and jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney to make planes less polluting and quieter.