EU blesses billion dollar aid for Air France KLM

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The 3.4 billion euros in support for the KLM airline planned by The Hague met the requirements for state aid.

The EU competition authorities have approved state support from the Netherlands for Air France-KLM because of the corona crisis. The 3.4 billion euros in support for the Dutch KLM planned by The Hague met the requirements for state aid, the EU Commission said on Monday. They will add 7 billion euros to the French government for Air France.

“KLM plays a key role for the Dutch economy,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The 3.4 billion euros will provide the company with urgently needed liquidity “to survive the corona crisis”. Vestager praised that the Dutch government tied this to conditions such as working conditions and sustainability.

The support consists of a loan of more than 2.4 billion euros, for which the Dutch government is responsible for 90 percent of the default guarantee, and a direct loan to KLM in the amount of one billion euros. With 36,600 employees, KLM is the Netherlands’ second largest private employer.

France and the Netherlands each hold 14 percent of Air France-KLM. With the airline, 95 percent of flights in the second quarter were canceled due to the corona crisis. The competitor and AUA parent company Lufthansa receives a total of 9 billion euros in government support. The competitor Ryanair, based in Ireland, is suing the state aid for the national airlines.

(APA / AFP)

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