French, Dutch Governments Step up for Air France-KLM

Even the combined partnership of two great aviation names, Air France and KLM, which merged in 2004, is not enough to overcome the devastation the global coronavirus pandemic has caused the airline industry.

But, like the CARES Act stimulus package signed by the U.S. President Donald Trump last month that included grants and loans for domestic airlines, other governments are now stepping up to help their own.

According to CNBC, France and the Netherlands will give 11 billion euros ($12 billion USD)

Air France-KLM will receive up to 11 billion euros ($12 billion) in financial aid from the two governments to hopefully avoid bankruptcy. The Dutch will provide between 2 billion euros and 4 billion euros in state aid to KLM, while the French announced a support package of 7 billion euros for Air France.

Like the agreement between the American government and U.S. airlines, there are conditions. U.S. carriers were forced to pay back 30 percent of any grants they received. The deal between the French and Air France and the Dutch and KLM includes conditions such as KLM not being able to pay dividends or award bonuses for as long as it receives state support, and workers will have to take a pay cut, according to a statement. The airline will also have to adopt a greener approach, for example, by cutting back the number of night flights.

Elsewhere, CNBC reported that Germany is negotiating a similar financial bailout for national carrier Lufthansa; Italy will take full control of Alitalia in June; and in the United Kingdom, Virgin Atlantic has asked for government help while EasyJet has secured a loan of 600 million pounds.

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