It was the last obstacle to the recapitalization of Air France.
Last week, Brussels said yes to a new bailout of the French company by the state, which owns 14.3% of Air France KLM.
We have an agreement in principle with the European Commissioner responsible for Competition on new financial support for Air France
“, Said the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire.
Meeting Monday, the board of directors of the company was to ratify this aid.
It is difficult to see how he could have refused it.
After losing 7.1 billion in 2020, Air France-KLM has had a very difficult start to the year with multiple travel restrictions and a third confinement in France as of Tuesday.
Suddenly, it needs to strengthen its own funds, which are too low in relation to its debt (11 billion) while the health crisis is dragging on.
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Tuesday morning, Air France-KLM will present this new plan.
After having brought 7 billion euros to the company in spring 2020 (3 billion in direct loans, 4 billion in guarantees on bank loans), the French public authorities should bail out Air France to the tune of at least 5 billion.
The French state would convert its 3 billion loans into hybrid bonds.
These financial instruments are considered as equity.
For the rest, the government would proceed with a capital increase, that is to say the contribution of new money.
This aid will be matched with counterparts.
Initially, the European Commission required Air France to cede 24 landing and take-off slots per day to Orly, ie 7% less of its capacity.
This would have called into question the development plan of Transavia, the low-cost airline of Air France.
On arrival, Brussels was less demanding in terms of the number of these “slots” to be returned without knowing how many will have to be returned.
The state also asks the company to make good use of public money.
Air France must make efforts to be competitive,
” said Bruno Le Maire.
Thus, the company will commit to freezing the highest salaries.