Guest of France Inter on Tuesday April 6, Bruno Le Maire the Minister of the Economy announced state aid for Air France, to the tune of 4 billion euros. “I can confirm that we have reached a definitive agreement with the European Commission on new financial support from the State to Air France”, rejoices Bruno Le Maire.
“We had made a loan of 3 billion euros to Air France, this loan, we are going to transform it into a participation of the State in the company. These three billion were a temporary aid, they will become a definitive aid”, explains the Minister of the Economy.
“Second support, we will increase the capital of Air France, since the State will participate in an increase in the capital of the company, and this participation can go up to one billion euros.”Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy
at France Inter
The state will be able to rise “at a little less than 30%” of the capital of Air France and become the largest shareholder, he assures.
In exchange, Air France will cede 18 slots to Orly to comply with competition rules. “We wanted the companies that can recover their slots to respect the social and fiscal rules of the French State, we have negotiated it with the European Commission”, explains Bruno Le Maire. “An airline which does not have the same social rules, not the same tax rules as those which are applied, will not be able to recover these air slots”, promises the minister without citing the name of Ryanair.
In exchange for this state aid, Bruno Le Maire calls for efforts to be made on the part of Air France. “Air traffic has returned to almost normal in Asia, 80% in the United States, North America and barely 40% in Europe. In this situation, where we do not envisage a return to normal on air traffic before 2024, at best, there are inevitably efforts that are necessary. But the State is supporting these efforts, it is not a blank check “, he concludes.