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Swissport gets $170m boost from US Treasury

Airport services group Swissport announced Monday that it had obtained $170.4 million from the United States to pay salaries under a US programme designed to support the economy.

The assistance comes mainly in the form of loans as part of the CARES Act, a vast emergency support plan implemented at the end of March to mitigate the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

The deal between Swissport North America and the US Treasury “provides Swissport with approximately $170 million of additional funds for payroll support during the disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused in the aviation industry,” the Swiss firm said in a statement.

Some $111.9 million comes as a grant and $58.5 million will take the form of an unsecured, non-amortising 10-year promissory note.

The first instalment was received on Friday, with further instalments expected to be received by Swissport by the end of July and the end of August.

The funds can only be used to keep paying wages, salaries, and benefits to Swissport employees in the United States.

Like many airlines, Swissport was shaken by the pandemic which grounded several fleets.

In late June, Swissport announced a plan to cut some 4,000 jobs in Britain.