The Surprising Aviation Companies That Got Federal Bailout Money

The CARES Act provided $58 billion in payroll support grants and loans to passenger and cargo airlines. It provided $10 billion for airports. Much less well known is the $3 billion set aside for airline contractors. Companies that do business with airlines could take bailouts, too.

The Department of the Treasury reported on the 112 companies they’ve awarded funds to so far, totaling $871,728,681.

A few of the companies taking your money, because of their strategic importance to the U.S. economy, stand out to me.

  • HAECO is the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited, which is owned by Swire Group (that also owns Cathay Pacific). Two separate HAECO companies based in the U.S. received grants.

  • SIA Enginering is a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, which is majority-owned by the Singapore government’s investment company Temasek Holdings,

  • Borenstein Caterers is the source of most airline kosher meals.

  • Smarte Carte is the self-serve luggage cart vending machine company that’s ubiquitous at baggage claim.

  • Funds went to AMI Wines – which, among other things, distributes wine to airlines. That money is separate from funds allocated to AMI Inflight.

Here’s the complete list:

Company Payroll Support 
WORLDWIDE FLIGHT SERVICES INC. $107,243,890
FLYING FOOD FARE INC. $85,020,818
G2 SECURE STAFF L.L.C $81,380,837
PRIMEFLIGHT AVIATION SERVICES INC. $65,708,621
AVIATION TECHNICAL SERVICES INC. $39,949,510
HAECO AIRFRAME SERVICES LLC $35,993,499
AIRPORT TERMINAL SERVICES INC. $33,677,349
GAT AIRLINE GROUND SUPPORT INC. $27,208,037
AMERICAN SALES AND MANAGEMENT ORG. LLC $25,812,052
CONSTANT AVIATION LLC $23,271,516
PROSEGUR SERVICES GROUP INC $22,620,474
TOTAL AIRPORT SERVICES LLC $20,828,745
FLIGHTSTAR AIRCRAFT SERVICES LLC $15,583,313
SMARTE CARTE INC. $14,837,166
HUNTLEIGH USA CORPORATION $13,680,036
JETSTREAM GROUND SERVICES INC. $13,117,705
AERSALE INC. $12,692,702
PACIFIC AVIATION LLC $12,687,657
AIRPORT TERMINAL MANAGEMENT INC. $12,393,304
MERCURY AIR CARGO INC $12,209,963
AIR GENERAL INC. $10,605,566
S A S SERVICES GROUP INC $10,015,992
U.S. AVIATION SERVICES CORP. $9,544,678
HACOR INC. $8,899,322
FLIGHT SERVICES AND SYSTEMS $8,457,698
NATIONAL AVIATION SERVICES LLC. $8,339,425
BARFIELD INC. $7,944,843
GLOBAL SECURITY CONSULTING GROUP INC. $7,347,488
PAX ASSIST INC $6,988,241
TREGO DUGAN AVIATION OF GRAND ISLAND INC. $6,910,746
ULTRA AVIATION SERVICES INC. $6,471,889
TRIANGLE SERVICES OF FLORIDA INC $6,395,074
MICHAEL LEWIS COMPANY $6,388,869
SUMMIT SECURITY SERVICES INC. $5,517,153
GATEWAY SECURITY INC $5,435,098
BIRD ACQUISITION LLC $5,165,454
BIZJET INTERNATIONAL SALES & SUPPORT INC $4,378,272
CALOP BUSINESS SYSTEMS INC. $4,246,029
THE FLIGHTSTAR CORPORATION $4,078,501
SIA ENGINEERING (USA) INC $3,929,425
ACCUFLEET INTERNATIONAL INC. $3,828,092
FLIGHT CHECK COMMERCIAL AVIATION SERVICES LLC $3,613,459
TRUMAN ARNOLD COMPANIES $2,777,912
BORENSTEIN CATERERS INC $2,758,079
GLOBAL K9 PROTECTION GROUP LLC $2,750,538
FSM GROUP LLC $2,601,000
JET WAY SECURITY & INVESTIGATIONS LLC $2,366,178
LISBON CLEANING INC $2,352,949
O’HARA AVIATION MANAGEMENT SERVICES LC $1,904,989
MACH II MAINTENANCE CORP $1,700,257
CAROLINA CATERING CORP. $1,699,013
TRIANGLE AVIATION SERVICES INC $1,359,409
CLEAREDDIRECT LLC $1,341,885
AVIATION LOGISTICS LLC $1,311,053
JET WAY AVIATION SERVICES LLC $1,216,926
MSN AIR SERVICE INC $1,182,265
BAC TRANSPORTATION LLC $1,056,326
AERONAUTICAL TECHNOLOGY INC (PAT) – FAA REPAIR STATION #DQ3R458L $977,974
USAIRPORTS FLIGHT SUPPORT LLC $896,926
COMMONWEALTH AVIATION SERVICE INC. $869,199
AMI INFLIGHT INC $863,089
PACIFIC ATLANTIC HANDLING LLC $832,304
WINNER AVIATION CORPORATION $781,568
SOUTHERN SKY AVIATION MAINTENANCE LLC $750,841
TAUGHANNOCK AVIATION CORP $700,425
BURBANK SECURITY SERVICES INC. $691,880
AVIATION MAIN SERVICES INC $684,887
AIR WILMINGTON INC. $675,066
NEW SONOMA FBO INC. $641,220
FOUR POINTS AERO SERVICES LLC $625,508
REGIONAL JET CENTER INC. $610,284
MONACO AIR DULUTH LLC $596,526
AVIATION TECHNOLOGIES INC $581,628
BISMARCK AERO CENTER CORP. $578,819
THOMAS GLOBAL SYSTEMS LLC $576,965
AIRPORT AVIATION SERVICES INC. $545,457
METAL INNOVATIONS INC. $530,506
TRI-STATE AERO INC $528,413
AERO INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED $474,915
INDEPENDENT CARGO SECURITY SCREENING LLC $455,397
HAECO AMERICAS LINE SERVICES LLC $445,289
HOLMAN ENTERPRISES INC $441,934
JETSCAPE SERVICES LLC $400,735
RIO CLEANING COMPANY LLC $382,631
ORD LIFT & GSE INC $378,566
PROPELLER AIRPORTS PAINE FIELD LLC $343,699
LIMA CLEANING LLC $323,656
BRANSON JETCENTER LLC $315,346
IDA FOODS LLC $315,167
PIA AVCENTER LLC $298,177
BELLINGHAM AVIATION SERVICES LLC $296,793
RICHMOND JET CENTER INC. $292,744
AERO PORT SERVICES INC. $279,929
QUANTUM AVIATION SOLUTIONS INC. $279,633
JET CENTER AT SANTA FE OPERATIONS LLC $277,354
FLITELINE SERVICES INC. CWS $245,206
OCEAN STATE AVIATION $223,450
TALLAHASSEE AVIATION PARTNERS LLC $213,150
GOURMET CATERING TO GO LLC $194,726
FUEL FX INC. $166,373
SPRINGFIELD AIRPORT AUTHORITY $166,275
HOLMAN ENTERPRISES INC ACWS-1 $157,754
LATITUDE AERO LLC $150,658
GARAGE SCENES LTD. $147,298
AMI WINES LLC $145,001
WESTJET AIR CENTER INC $137,836
MOUNTAIN WEST EKO LLC $87,757
BAY LAND AVIATION INC $82,960
247 ON SITE LLC $82,837
TOTAL AIR SERVICES INC. $65,448
EINARSON BROTHERS FLYING SERVICE INC. $64,906
GAITROS AVIATION LLC $58,309

The Singapore government, Cathay Pacific’s engineering firm, and a wine distributor all got federal CARES Act subsidies. And there’s still $2 billion undistributed.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. As a shareholder of Swire Pacific, Ltd., I wish to thank the American people for their kind contribution to my securities portfolio and to allow me to pass my losses onto the US taxpayer to absorb (despite the fact that I’ll never share my dividend checks or capital gains). I’d particularly like to thank the American children who will actually be paying for this one day, especially since they were wisely given no say in this decision (lest they question its profound wisdom). I can only say that I’m in awe as to how complacent the American people are to allow their wealth — and their children’s wealth — to be so casually transferred to serve the whims of politicians so that owners of for profit companies needn’t be bothered by the traditional risk of unexpected business and investment losses.

  2. While we were protesting, the Fed has been busy selling us all into indentured servitude. Looking back, the big story of 2020 won’t be the virus or the protests. It will be how the Fed destroyed America’s future in just a few short weeks.

  3. There has to be a reason why the US govt is doing this. It’s akin to allowing foreigners to purchase US property even though these purchasers don’t have US status. All the US govt has to do is find some “problem” with the purchase or deny these purchasers immigrant or visitor visas and that’s the end of their investments. Remember the properties are on US soil. It’s not as if the Chinese, Saudi or Russian purchasers are going to come to the US and “reclaim” those properties.

  4. It just gets me that all the big companies were buying back their stock and now they are all paupers needing government help. Why can’t I do this?

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