Find a little air, but see the wings cut (a little).
The national champion of the air, very in difficulty because of the pandemic of Covid-19, however has no choice.
This Monday afternoon, the Board of Directors of Air France met to approve the agreement between the Ministry of the Economy (the State holds 14.3%) and the European Commission on the subject of a new state financial aid.
The sum has not been revealed, but the amount of this new envelope is in billions of euros, after aid of 7 billion last year.
At the end of long weeks of negotiations, Brussels gave its agreement by making it conditional on pro-competition measures.
Bruno Le Maire, the tenant of Bercy, warned that Air France should thus abandon "a certain number of slots" times for landing and take-off at Orly airport.
Competitors are eyeing it, Ryanair in the lead.
“I see a phenomenal contradiction there, the State is trying to save the company, but the European Commission demands compensation in exchange, annoys Grégoire Aplincourt, captain of Air France.
During the crisis, the repatriation of French people from abroad and medical repatriations, it was Air France, not Ryanair, not EasyJet!
Why should you give gifts to those who will not come to pick you up tomorrow?
»How many slots exactly will the company make?
On this Monday evening, the mystery still hovered.
The only certainty is that it will be less than the 24 initially desired by the Commission.
An extraordinary CSE convened on Tuesday
Asked, Air France did not wish to react.
Nothing filtered either side unions, while a board of directors was held on Monday.
“The agenda is not complicated, there is no reason to fear turbulence, we slipped in the entourage of Bruno Le Maire.
The Minister and the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, have permanently kept Ben Smith (
Editor's note: the CEO of Air France)
and Anne-Marie Couderc (
Editor's note: the president)
informed of the hardest points.
The unions will be hostile, but they know they have no choice.
This new financial assistance is public money, therefore taxpayers' money, so the company must become competitive again.
The aid as such will not necessarily take the form of a new check, however.
In 2020, Air France received 7 billion euros, including 3 billion in shareholder advances and 4 billion in loans guaranteed by the State (PGE).
"One of the tracks is that these three billion are no longer to be repaid, but considered as injected into the company," confides a union source.
The State would thus go back to capital, with the objective of restoring confidence to investors.
Paris could thus increase its stake to 30%, against 14.3% today.
But what about the reaction of the Netherlands, which owns 14% of Air France-KLM?
An extraordinary Central Social and Economic Committee (CSE) was convened on Tuesday morning.
The afternoon, normally, should be devoted to the second round of compulsory annual negotiations (NAO) - "which is to say that, in normal times, we should have been talking about increases", smiles bitterly. Union representative.
The ace !
The zeitgeist "is much more in the original plans," he sighs.