‘Historic’ aid package for Air France-KLM and Renault

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France said on Friday it was readying a “historic” package of multi-billion euro loans to help carmaker Renault and flag-carrier Air France through the crisis caused by the coronavirus.

The French state retains shareholdings in both Renault and Air France of 15 and 14.3 percent respectively.

For Air France, a seven billion euro ($7.5 billion) package is planned and for Renault five billion euro ($5.4 billion), Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced.

He said the package was needed to save Air France amid an unprecedented industry crisis but warned the money would come with strings attached, with the airline notably having to improve its environmental credentials.

For Air France, the loan package is made up of four billion euros in bank loans guaranteed by the state and a three billion euro loan direct from the state, he told TF1 television.

“We need to save our national company and the 350,000 direct and indirect employees affected,” he said, while describing the plan as “historic support”.

We are behind Air France, behind the employees of Air France to guarantee our independence and save jobs,” he added, while denying that nationalisation was on the cards.

In The Hague, Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra announced the government plans to support KLM with an aid package worth between two to four billion euros.

For Renault, a five billion euro ($5.4 billion) bank loan package guaranteed by the state is being worked on, Le Maire said.

“What is at stake here is our automobile industry. Renault is an industrial flagship that belongs to our culture and history,” he added.

Read more via France 24

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