Air France: massive new aid from the French state – economy

Air France is the subject of all the attention of the French government. The airline will thus be able to obtain massive new aid from the public authorities, but it will have to cede slots to Orly.

New boost from the French state towards Air France. This time, 3 billion euros of the loan granted last year by the public authorities will be converted into equity. Added to this is aid of an additional billion euros, which will allow the State to increase to 30% of the airline’s capital, against 14.3% currently. This will make him the first shareholder in the company. Shortly after the outbreak of the health crisis, Air France landed a massive check for 7 billion euros through a loan repayable in four years.

4 billion euros to help Air France

Brussels, which gave the green light to the operation after difficult negotiations, has set its conditions. ” As long as the recapitalization is not reimbursed at 100%, Air France and its holding company are subject to a dividend ban. », Explains the Commission. These own funds must therefore ensure a ” sufficient remuneration To the French State. Above all, Air France will have to cede 18 take-off and landing slots at Orly airport. Originally, the Commission required 24 slots. ” This represents 4% of the slots that Air France already has on Orly, so you can see that it is reasonable », Rejoices Bruno Le Maire at the microphone of France Inter.

An operating loss of 1.3 billion

These slots will have to be ceded to airlines which ” rigorously respect the social and fiscal rules of the French State », He added, aiming without naming it Ryanair. The government has demanded a return to profitability, but it will take a long time. In the first quarter, the operating loss will be 1.3 billion euros… Ben Smith, the chief executive of the company, indicates that “ these first recapitalization measures are an important step for our group in this exceptionally difficult period “.