02/04/2020

Covid-19: Airline demands vs government support (2nd April)

Covid-19: Airline demands vs government support (2nd April)

This is the third updated summary of airline demands for state support and bailout offers by governments around the world.

The tables below include airlines and industry groups representing operators of over half of the world’s commercial aircraft in service. Ishka estimates that governments are preparing or executing close to $72.8 billion in bailouts for airlines around the world based on reports collected so far, $77.9 billion including unconfirmed reports - complete tables follow The Ishka View.

Most of that consists of the $58 billion for US airlines included in the $2 trillion relief package signed by President Trump (see Insight: ‘US airlines bailout: What does the fine print say?’), but more countries are throwing their weight behind airlines through sovereign loans and loan guarantees, tax rebates or waivers, and yet-undefined ‘help’ measures.

 

The Ishka View

 

The number of bailouts tallied by Ishka ($77.9 billion including four unconfirmed reports) is approximately 39% of the $200 billion IATA says is needed by airlines around the world. Ishka believes that the IATA estimate, which Director General Alexandre de Juniac has repeated in lobbying letters to governments since mid-March, will need to be revised upwards soon, as the effects of the crisis are shaping up to be far greater than most observers including IATA estimated only two weeks ago. Considering that suggestions of government bailouts for airlines only began to gain traction around a month ago, the mobilisation of state resources so far has been nothing short of impressive.

However, Ishka expects a shift in the deployment of state aid from the largely unconditional bailouts seen so far (other than a few financial caveats or job preservation) to selective and more complex measures. There are raging debates in the UK and Australia whether Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia, respectively, deserve state aid when their respective bigger and more established rivals, British Airways and Qantas, have stated they are much better prepared to weather the crisis. It remains to be seen whether these two countries, both large aviation markets, as well as others, are prepared to face public backlash in offering blanket industry bailouts or whether, instead, they are prepared to let the weaker competitor fail amid an already shrinking market due to the impending recession. For other parts of the world, Ishka expects the level of state support for carriers to depend on the countries’ economic reliance on air transport, existing state involvement in airlines, and the financial health of their largest airlines.

 

State support tally


The table below tallies financial support measures for airlines (converted to US dollars) confirmed by 11 nations and state entities and, separately, amounts reported to be allocated by four states to airlines but not yet confirmed. Ishka estimates that governments are preparing or executing close to $72.8 billion in bailouts for airlines around the world (confirmed reports). Unconfirmed reports suggest a further $5.1 billion could be allocated by four other states, for a total tally of $77.9 billion.

 

State support for airlines as of 2nd April 2020 (tally)
Government / authority Amount (USD millions) - Confirmed Amount (USD millions) - Unconfirmed reports Concept [See State Support table for more details]
Australia 606.6 Refunds and waivers of fuel excise, Airservices charges and regional security fares totalling, including an upfront benefit of A$159 million ($94.3 million) which would reimburse the charges paid by domestic airlines from the beginning of February.
Brazil 2000 Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported on 24th March that the support of national development bank BNDES for airlines would be in the region of R$ 10 billion ($2 billion).
Denmark / Sweden 652 The governments of Sweden and Denmark are offering credit guarantees 3 billion Swedish kronor ($302 million) to SAS and a further 3.5 billion Swedish kronor ($350 million) in credit guarantees for other airlines.
Finland 645 Finland will guarantee Finnair’s 600 million euro ($645 million) pension premium loan to aid the flag carrier.
Germany 2000 The TUI Group has been granted a €1.8 billion ($2 billion) bridge loan from German development bank KfW.
Hong Kong 340 HK$2.6 billion ($340 million) in relief measures for airlines from the Hong Kong Airport Authority (AA), including waivers of taxes, parking fees or ATC charges.
Italy 764 The Italian government is reportedly due to allocate up to €700 million ($764 million) in a fund to nationalise flag carrier Alitalia.
Latvia 164.3 Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers conceptually supports allocating EUR 150 million ($164.3 million) into the base capital of Latvia’s national airline airBaltic, according to minutes of a 24th March government meeting.
Malaysia 2200 Airlines in Malaysia could get up to RM10 billion ($2.2 billion) in loans guaranteed by sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
New Zealand 524.3 The New Zealand government has offered a NZ $900 million ($524.3 million) loan to Air New Zealand.
Norway 552 The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) on 31st March approved Norway's implementation of a guarantee package of NOK 6 billion ($552 million) for air transportation to be primarily given to Norwegian, SAS and Wideroe.
Singapore* 7747 The Singaporean government will provide S$350 million ($243 million) of support to airlines. Separately, flag carrier Singapore Airlines announced the issue of S$5.3 billion ($3.7 billion) in new equity and raise up to S$9.7 billion ($6.7 billion) on 26th March to bolster liquidity. SIA's largest shareholder (56%) Temasek, a sovereign wealth fund, committed to subscribing to its pro-rata entitlement and backstop the balance.
South Korea 152 Funds disbursed so far by the Korean Development Bank (KDB) to South Korean low-cost airlines. The state-owned bank is reportedly planning to lend up to KRW 300 billion ($242 million) to airlines, including the amounts confirmed so far.
Taiwan 1600 Government announced help of T$50 billion ($1.6 billion) for airlines.
United States 58000 A $58 billion bailout for US airlines ($61 billion including grants for contractors) was signed into law by President Donald Trump on 27th March as part of the CARES Act.
TOTAL (USD millions) 72818.9 5128.3 77947.2
Ishka research *Approximation: Only 56% of SIA issuances accounted for (Temasek's share)

Click here to download the tables.

 

The following is an expanded table including details for the 15 nations listed above as well as a further 17 countries and EU-level entities.

 

Click here to download the tables.

 

Airline requests

 

The table below lists the demands (or hints at possible need for state aid) by 48 carriers and airline groups, some of which have already seen their demands met, as well as 15 trade associations and industry groups. Collectively, the airlines represented in this table operate the vast majority of the world’s passenger aircraft.

 

Airline demands for state support as of 2nd April 2020
Airline Country Comments or demands Context Source Date of announcement / report
Air Belgium Belgium Air Belgium will request support from the Belgian government for several million euros. "We cannot survive without it," CEO Niky Terzakis said as quoted by Belgian newspaper HLN. Air Belgium is a small scheduled and charter airline with a fleet of four A340-300 aircraft. HLN 3/23/2020
Air Canada Canada Air Canada was one of the first carriers to request federal government assistance in North America. CEO Calin Rovinescu said on 16th March in a statement: "We understand that the governments of the United States and many European countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Norway and others have approved or are considering assistance for their airline industries in one form or another. Under these circumstances, we believe that the Canadian airline industry should also see similar assistance, whether through forbearance of taxes, landing fees and other charges that form part of the aviation burden in Canada or otherwise until the industry stabilizes." The Financial Post on 27th March reported that the Canadian federal government has met with representatives from Canada’s airline industry, including calls between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the CEOs of Air Canada and WestJet Airlines. Air Canada, Financial Post 3/16/2020
Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) Philippines ACAP has called on the government to urgently provide guarantees on debt, six-month emergency credit lines apart from long-term loans with low interest rates and a waiver of navigational and airport charges, which are currently being deferred. ACAP emphasised the assistance was not a “handout at the expense of the Filipino taxpayers” but access to working capital as airlines have ongoing expenses while main revenue streams have evaporated. ACAP represents Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines. Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told reporters in a text message on 31st March that the government would ask the central bank BSP to "support banks that support their clients, including their airlines." ACAP however said in its latest letter it was yet to receive a formal response from the government. Philippine Daily Inquirer, ANN 4/1/2020
Airlines for America (A4A) - trade association United States A4A saw its demands met in the $58 billion provisions for air carriers under the CARES Act signed by US President Donald Trump on 27th March (see State Support table). In a statement issued the same day, A4A "applauded" the signing of the Act. "We remain hopeful that the federal government will expeditiously release these funds with as few restrictions as possible to ensure airlines are able to utilize these provisions and meet our payroll." A4A's demands to congress, now met, were last expressed in a letter to the US Congress on 21st March signed by the CEOs of Alaska Air, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, UPS Airlines as well as the A4A CEO. A4A 3/27/2020
Airlines for Europe (A4E) and European Regions Airline Association (ERA) - trade associations Europe A4E's demands are: 1) Deferment or waiver of aviation taxes at EU or national level, including provisions applicable to aviation in the Energy Taxation Directive (Council Directive 95/60/EC). 2) EU261 clarity: Immediate clarity for airlines and passengers on COVID-19 counting as an extraordinary circumstance under Regulation 261/air passenger rights 3) Slot rule: Waiver of the 80/20 airport slots rule beyond the summer 4) "stimulus package" from EU funds for airlines via guarantees or credit facilities. The third of these demands was met on 26th March, when the European Parliament voted in favour of an extension to the waiver of slot rules until 24th October [see 'European Parliament' in the State Support table] A4E members account for more than 70% of Europe's air journeys. They include Aegean Airlines, airBaltic, Air France-KLM, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, IAG Group, Jet2, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair Holdings, Smartwings, TAP Air Portugal, TUI Group, and Volotea. A4E - Open letter to EU Transport Ministers 3/26/2020
Airlines UK United Kingdom In a letter from Airlines UK to transport secretary Grant Shapps seen by Sky News the industry group urged the government to suspend - rather than defer - air passenger duty payments for six months and waive ATC and CAA charges. It also repeated a call (shared by A4E) for a moratorium of claims under the EU261 passenger rights regulation. In the letter Airlines UK said carriers should also be permitted to issue vouchers instead of refunds and, should refunds be required, carriers should be permitted to defer payment until the crisis period is over. Separately, on 28th March, Airlines UK sent a letter to UK Treasurer Rishi Sunak signed by 40 MPs asking the government to "urgently review its measures" to support the UK aviation industry, including "on a range of taxes and industry charges, regulatory easements and the adaptation of the Job Retention Scheme to take account of the unique aviation context." Airlines UK members include British Airways, DHL, EasyJet, Jet2, Norwegian, Ryanair, TUI Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Titan Airways. KLM is an associate member. Airlines UK, Sky News 3/28/2020
ALTA (Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association) Latin America ALTA issued a joint statement with ACI LAC, CANSO and IATA on 30th march, calling on regional governments to consider the following: 1) Aid the continuity of the services provided by airlines, airports, air navigation service providers, and associate services that will jointly support the return of commercial air traffic by ensuring the economic and financial sustainability of the aviation industry. 2) The inclusion of the aviation sector in any national scheme or special aid package to provide relief for the current dire situation. 3) The facilitation of debt renegotiation and to allow for government budgets to be reinvested in the aviation sector. 4) The adjustment of working conditions for companies and employees to be jointly agreed upon as a contingency measure. 5) Flexibility with respect to slot rules and other non-safety related provisions which can permit the industry to return to operations more rapidly once the contingency is over. 6) Provide temporary relief in the requirement to develop infrastructure, particularly in order to comply with level of service obligations or projects that are not immediately required by the industry. 7) Relax quality of service obligations until operations return to normal. ALTA represents "90 percent of the region's commercial air traffic." The latest letter seeks to reiterate ALTA's message to governments on 6th March, when they asked for states to work with the air travel industry to "guarantee its viability," including relaxing slot rules, reducing taxes and other levies. Speaking to Reuters on 17th March, ALTA chief Luis Felipe de Oliveira said he has been sending letters to regional governments and called for "drastic and immediate action." ALTA, Reuters 3/30/2020
American Airlines United States American Airlines has seen its financial assistance demands met through the $58 billion bailout air carriers in the CARES Act signed on 27th March by US President Donald Trump. The airline said in a message to employees on 30th March it intends to apply for $12 billion in government aid provided through the Act. American Airlines, like other major US carriers, expressed its demands through the A4A trade association (see above). The airline had confirmed in separate statements (reflected in previous versions of this table) that it was engaged in conversations with the government. Video message to employees 3/30/2020
Arab Air Carriers' Organization (AACO) Middle East and North Africa AACO is calling on Arab governments to adopt 1) tax relief for airlines for a period of two years 2) speedy financial support packages for airlines to retain workers 3) government-supported grace period from paying lenders and suppliers 4) exempt airlines from paying user charges at airports and air navigation service providers 5) exempt airlines from passenger rights regulations 6) suspend slot rules in Arab airports 7) compensate airlines for net costs of sanitisation and monitoring to contain the spread of the virus. AACO renewed these and other demands in a joint statement with the Arab Tourism Organization, the Arab Civil Aviation Organization and the Arab Air Carriers’ Organization o 31st March. AACO represents 33 airlines in the Middle East and North Africa, including EgyptAir, Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, Flydubai, Flynas, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways, MEA, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian and Saudia AACO 3/19/2020
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Asia-Pacific AAPA says Asia-Pacific airlines are facing revenue shortfalls of more than $60bn this year. It has called on governments to "rapidly" implement emergency relief measures such as: 1) suspension of payroll taxes, deferment or reduction in income taxes, extension of payment terms, waiver of ticket taxes & other government levies, taxes, dues and charges for 2020 2) Direct financial support for reduced revenues and liquidity support due to travel restrictions 3) Extension of interest-free loans or loan guarantees, and support for corporate bond markets either directly or to commercial banks to extend credit for affected companies 4) Direct financial support for individuals facing loss of livelihoods AAPA's 15 airline members are: Air Astana, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Eva Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Royal Brunei, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways AAPA 3/19/2020
Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) Canada In a second letter to the government on 29th March, ATAC asked the government "to act immediately to table a financial aid package for the commercial aviation industry." ATAC said Canada was lagging behind other governments around the world. ATAC asked for three key element in the aid package: 1) direct financial aid including wage subsidies, tax rebates, reimbursement of aviation fuel excise taxes 2) taxes and charges relief, including a suspension of the federal aviation fuel tax, ground rent charges at airports and navigation fees and 3) loans and loan guarantees of C$2 billion ($1.4 billion) for commercial air operators, including MRO and other service providers. ATAC members include Chorus Aviation, Flair Airlines, Inuit Air, Sunwing and around 70 other small operators. Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat are not part of ATAC. ATAC 3/29/2020
Azul Brazil CEO John Rodgerson was quoted by Brazilian newspaper O Globo as saying that airlines "are not facing management issues, but the collateral effects of a war against a virus," and in backing the need of state support for airlines, pointed at the US plan to facilitate $50 billion in grants and loan guarantees to passenger airlines. In another interview published on 1st April by NeoFeed, Rodgerson says the measures being worked out by state-owned bank BNDES [see State Support table] is "good" and added that "the price of debt will impact the future of the industry, if you put financial conditions at a high cost, it will hinder the growth of the industry." Azul has grounded 90% of its fleet, according to a separate interview with Rodgerson published on 1st April. Brazil is reportedly working out a financial assistance package for airlines worth approximately $2 billion [see State Support table]. O Globo, NeoFeed 4/1/2020
Brussels Airlines Belgium Brussels Airlines, part of the Lufthansa Group, has requested aid from the Belgian State for 200 million euros ($217 million) to avoid bankruptcy in a few months, according to Belgian financial newspapers De Tijd and L’Echo. [see 'Belgium' in the State Support table for reports on the possible nationalisation of Brussels Airlines]. Brussels Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group, which is actively encouraging governments to support airlines. The CEO of parent company Lufthansa Group (see below) has confirmed it is in discussions with the Belgian government about obtaining state support. Tijd, Lufthansa 3/19/2020
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong In an emailed response to the media, Cathay Pacific said the latest HK$1 billion ($129 million) relief package announced by the Hong Kong International Airport Authority is not enough. "We are of the view that significantly more much-needed immediate assistance, which is commensurate with the scale of this crisis, still needs to be provided." The Airport Authority (AA) on 23rd March launched a HK$1 billion ($129 million) relief package for the "airport community" in the form of a HK$670 million ATC charges waiver for 2019/2020 and a sum of HK$330 million, both from the government. (see State Support table for more information) Nikkei Asian Review, SCMP 3/25/2020
Delta Airlines United States Delta Airlines has seen its financial assistance demands met through the $58 billion bailout air carriers in the CARES Act signed on 27th March by US President Donald Trump. CEO Ed Bastian said in a message to employees on 29th March that Delta is "deeply grateful" of the government and said that, as a result of the grants and financial assistance package, "there will be no involuntary furloughs or reductions in pay rates across our US industry for the next six months." Delta Airlines, like other major US carriers, expressed its demands through the A4A trade association (see above). The airline had confirmed in separate statements (reflected in previous versions of this table) that it was engaged in conversations with the government. Message to employees 3/29/2020
EasyJet Switzerland Switzerland A spokesperson for EasyJet Switzerland, an EasyJet subsidiary, told Swiss business news agency Awp Finanznachrichten that the airline is in contact with a government taskforce in charge of aviation-specific support measures. The Handelszeitung newspaper previously reported the airline had asked the Swiss federal government for a liquidity injection. According to the Handelszeitung report, airline suppliers including HNA-owned airport service provider Swissport have applied for state aid. Awp Finanznachrichten, Handelszeitung 3/31/2020
El Al Israel Airlines Israel El Al is "six week away from collapse," chairman Eli Defes said in an interview on 30th March. Earlier, in a letter to employees, El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin said that assistance of $200-$300 million from the state is critical for the company. "The state must decide whether it wants a national airline, or whether it believes that aviation security is not an important and substantial element of our national security." Usishkin said the airline's revenue has almost completely dried up due to Israel's border closure. "The government has two alternatives. One is the airline's collapse and the loss of its NIS 2.5 billion ($694 million) contribution to GDP (...) the second alternative is a $200-300 million state loan that will enable El Al to recover and quickly resume regular activity." Previous reports said El Al estimated it would some $700 million to stay afloat. El Al has not been state-owned since 2005. The beleaguered carrier in early March said it expected revenue to decline by $140-160 million for the period from January to April 2020 as a result of the suspension of multiple lines and declining demand. The Yeshiva World, Globes, Times of Israel 3/30/2020
European Regions Airline Association (ERA) Europe ERA said it is "pleased" that the need for a substantial package for the aviation sector was not overlooked in an EU Transport Ministers meeting on 19th March, but underlined that the ministers "provided no clear and timely decisions" to alleviate the pressures on the aviation industry. It also joined A4E in expressing disappointment that the European Commission did not agree on limiting compensation obligations for airlines under the EU261 regulation. ERA represents 52 airlines and 148 companies involved in European air transport. The airlines represented include Air Nostrum, ASL Airlines, Air Malta, Binter, Braathens regional Airlines, Eastern Airways, HOP!, KLM Cityhopper, SATA Air Acores and TAP Express. ERA 3/25/2020
Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries (NHO Luftfart) Norway NHO Luftfart has seen most of its recent demands met. The industry federation had asked the Norwegian government on behalf of airlines for NOK 6 billion to 8 billion ($513 million to $684 million) in state guarantees to help struggling carriers. Most of this would go to Norwegian Air Shuttle. The Norwegian government finally agreed to provide NOK 6 billion [see State Support table]. NHO Luftfart has over 50 member companies employing over 12.000 people in Norway, including airline businesses, helicopter services, airports, technical services, ground handling and other aviation related businesses. NRK 3/19/2020
Greek airlines: Air Mediterranean, Blue Bird, Ellinair, GainJet, Lumiwings and Orange2Fly (joint letter) Greece The six airlines send a letter to the Greek government calling for financial help as their liquidity is being depleted. The airlines said they could collapse without state aid. The carriers are charter and scheduled airline operators with small aircraft fleets of two to 10 aircraft. naftemporiki.gr 3/29/2020
IAG UK / Spain IAG CEO Willie Walsh said on an investor call that IAG has NOT asked for state aid. “Governments would expect airlines to look at self help before they would call on governments to provide state aid.” He said that IAG would, however, make use of any general state-support for employees where it becomes available. IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus, LEVEL, Air Europa) has been vocal against state support for airlines in the recent past, including the UK government bailout rescue of Flybe in 2019. Reuters 3/16/2020
JetBlue United States JetBlue has seen its financial assistance demands met through the $58 billion bailout air carriers in the CARES Act signed on 27th March by US President Donald Trump. CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement on 27th March that JetBlue "applauds" President Trump and the government for swiftly enacting the CARES Act. JetBlue, like other major US carriers, expressed its demands through the A4A trade association (see above). The airline had confirmed in separate statements that it was engaged in conversations with the government. Jetblue 3/27/2020
KLM Netherlands KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said on 1st April that a capital injection by the state is a possibility. Elbers thinks KLM is in relatively good shape and will, "with government help," be in a good position "to face the storm." According to Elbers, no airline can cope with the crisis without aid. Elbers said separately that KLM is not working on "disentanglement scenarios" separating from Air France, instead saying "we're working on financing." France and the Netherlands each have a 14.3% stake on Air France-KLM. [See France in State Support table for comments on possible French state support for the airline group] NU.nl, Reuters, RTL 4/1/2020
LATAM Chile / Brazil [See 'Chile' in the State Support table for more details] Incoming LATAM CEO Roberto Alvo has renewed calls for government assistance during another TV interview on 29th March. Alvo said the measures could encompass anything from a nationalisation of the airline to loans and loan guarantees similar to those already provided by other countries to their airlines. In a prior TV interview Alvo said that LATAM has asked the countries in which it operates help to overcome the Covid-19 crisis, as all airlines around the world are in need of liquidity. Alvo pointed at Virgin Atlantic and Norwegian as examples of airlines making similar requests. Alvo's previous comments were dismissed by Chile's economy minister but more recent reports say LATAM is holding talks with the Chilean government about possible state aid [see 'Chile' under State Support table]. Reportur, La Tercera, CNN Chile 3/29/2020
Lufthansa Group Germany Lufthansa is "in intensive negotiations with policymakers" in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium on how to mitigate the consequences of the crisis, including "potential legislative measures to support liquidity," which could include "for example, the deferral of taxes or other fees; the potential use of loans and guarantees, if necessary, which government has made available to those companies most affected by the corona crisis," CEO Carsten Spohr said during the Q4 2019 earnings call on 19th March. Spohr added that if there was a need for Lufthansa to get extra liquidity "obviously, the German government would be ready to extend it to us," but added that that is "not our concern on the next days." Commenting on the ongoing talks on 27th March, Spohr said "we feel a great determination in Berlin and in our home markets that Lufthansa should and must stand up to global competition." Spohr also said as part of the 2019 Annual Report announcement that "the longer this crisis lasts, the more likely it is that the future of aviation cannot be guaranteed without state aid." Lufthansa's request for state aid contrasts with its criticism of state airline rescues as early as January this year, when Lufthansa criticised state-owned Polish airline LOT's takeover of Germany's Condor. N-TV, Seeking Alpha, Lufthansa 3/27/2020
Malaysia Airlines Malaysia Malaysia Airlines has asked for support from the government, sources have told Bloomberg. The airline confirmed in an emailed statement late on 25th March that it has been in talks with the government on emergency measures to help airlines sustain through the crisis. The carrier said it had not discussed mergers with other airlines. The airline is wholly owned by Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Bloomberg 3/25/2020
Malta Business Bureau Malta The Malta Business Bureau called on the Maltese government to make full use of a relaxation of state aid rules by the EU, making special mention to airlines including Air Malta. In addition to Air Malta, Malta is also home to several charter airlines and Ryanair subsidiary Malta Air. Malta Today 3/17/2020
Middle East Airlines (MEA) Lebanon MEA, owned by the Bank of Lebanon, has not receive governments support but says the government owes it $120 million without specifying the basis of the debt. MEA President Mohammed Hout said the airline is losing $1 million everyday since flights were interrupted on 18th March due to government restrictions. Libanews 3/26/2020
oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance Global The three airline alliances issued a joint statement calling on governments and stakeholders to take action to "alleviate the unprecedented challenges faced by the global airline industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic". The three global alliances represent 60 of the world's largest airlines and represent approximately 55% of the world's capacity in ASKs. SkyTeam 3/16/2020
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Pakistan A spokesman for PIA told Bloomberg losses and debt of PIA have become too great for the company to handle alone and that options suggested to the government include a debt-to-equity swap and issuance of long-term bond. Using the Z-score method developed by Edward Altman in the 1960s to predict bankruptcies, Bloomberg listed airlines at highest risk of bankruptcy. PIA topped the list. Bloomberg 3/26/2020
Qantas Australia Qantas has told the government it expects a $4.2 billion loan if Virgin Australia is bailed out, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has been critical of suggestions that embattled rival Virgin Australia could receive federal government support, arguing that it should not be propping up one company over others over this crisis. Joyce said assistance should not be offered to businesses that had been "badly managed" and that it would be a case of "survival of the fittest" in the airline sector. Virgin Australia has accused Qantas of spreading rumours that it would collapse. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have both said nationalising companies was not currently on the Australian government's agenda. The chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Rod Sims, said in response to Joyce's statements that Australia has gone "into this crisis with two airlines, we need to come out of this crisis with two airlines." Sydney Morning Herald, ABC, Daily Mail Australia 4/1/2020
Qatar Airways Qatar Qatar Airways will seek government support, CEO Akbar al-Baker told Reuters on 29th March. Al-Baker warned that the airline was burning through cash and only had enough to sustain operations for a “very short period”. Qatar Airways is state-owned. Reuters 3/29/2020
Regional Airline Association (RAA) United States The RAA, like A4A, saw its demands met in the $58 billion provisions for air carriers under the CARES Act signed by US President Donald Trump on 27th March (see State Support table). In a statement issued the same day, RAA "applauded" the House for its "quick" passage and President Trump for his immediate signing. "In the coming days, RAA will work closely with the Secretaries of Treasury and Transportation to ensure the direct financial assistance, a crucial element for regional airlines, is accessible and apportioned in a manner that allows regional airlines to directly support their workforce." The RAA's demands to congress, now met, were last expressed in a letter to the US Congress on 20th March signed by the CEOs of ExpressJet, Envoy Air, Air Wisconsin, Piedmont Airlines, Empire, Trans State Holdings (GoJet, Compass and Trans State), PSA Airlines, Cape Air, Endeavor Air, SkyWest Airlines, Horizon Air, RAVN Alaska, Mesa Airlines, Republic Airlines. Compass and Trans State (operating as United Express) have permanently ceased operations in recent weeks. RAA 3/27/2020
Regional Airline Association of Australia (RAAA) Australia The association has praised the Australian federal government over its A$198 million ($118 million) package for regional airlines. The support package is for route subsidies designed to provide a reduced service for those regional communities that are in danger of losing their current scheduled air service, plus an additional A$100 million ($61 million) in direct financial support for smaller airlines [see 'Australia' under State Support table]. The RAAA on 25th March had said that the initial A$715 million ($425 million) financial assistance package for airlines was nor enough to support regional carriers. Australian Flying 3/31/2020
Russian Association of Air Transport Operators (RATOA) Russia RATOA has pleaded with Russia's transport ministry to take urgent measures to protect Russia's air transport industry from collapse. RATOA's proposed range of measures include waiving value added tax (VAT) payments, boosting state subsidies for regional air travel and the freezing of airport handling fees. Flagship carrier Aeroflot has said it is under "enormous financial pressure" while UTair is in a "particularly difficult situation", according to Alexander Neradko, the head of the federal air transport agency Rosaviation. Russian Aviation Insider 3/20/2020
Russian regional airlines Russia The senator representing the Russian far eastern Magadan province has appealed to the government to add 12 smaller regional airlines to the list of Russia’s ‘strategic enterprises’ that may expect to receive state support in times of economic downturn [see State Support table for more details on the strategic enterprises list]. The regional airlines comprise Aurora Airlines, IrAero, Aeroservis, Siberian Light Aviation, Yamal, Yakutiya, Polar Airlines, Khabarovsk Airlines, Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise, Chukotavia, National Air Medical Service and Russian Helicopter Systems. Russian Aviation Insider 3/31/2020
SAS Sweden SAS has been given 3.5 billion Swedish kronor ($350 million) in credit guarantees by the Swedish and Danish governments [See 'Denmark/Sweden' in the State Support table for more details]. Previously, SAS chief Rickard Gustafson had told newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv it was to seek state emergency aid on 11th March. SAS is part-owned by Sweden (14.82%) and Denmark (14.24%) with the remainder held by private owners. Dagens Naeringsliv 3/11/2020
Spanish carriers Spain Iberia, Globalia (parent company of Air Europa), Vueling, Volotea and Air Nostrum have reportedly written to the Spanish Transport Ministry and state-owned bank Instituto de Credito Oficial (ICO) to explain their liquidity needs. Ministry and ICO officials were reportedly due to meet on 1st April to discuss the needs of the airlines. The report states that airlines in Spain have around 90% of their fleet grounded. El Confidencial 3/31/2020
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) Switzerland SWISS CEO Thomas Klühr told the Sonntagsblick newspaper that he counts "on the fact that the Federal Council is aware of the importance of SWISS," indicating hopes the Swiss state will step in to help the airline deal with the impact of the coronavirus. In a separate statement at a SWISS news conference on 19th March, he said "we must assume that all of Europe's airlines will need state support" SWISS is part of the Lufthansa Group, which is actively encouraging governments to support airlines. The CEO of parent company Lufthansa Group (see above) has confirmed it is in discussions with the Swiss government about obtaining state support. Swissinfo.ch 3/15/2020
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Ukraine UAI President Evgeny Dykhne said the airline has written "the relevant appeals" for state assistance, including a loan from a state bank with favourable terms. UIA is the largest Ukrainian airline and has a fleet of around 35 aircraft. One of their aircraft, a 737-800, was downed shortly after take-off from Tehran in January. CFTS 3/27/2020
Virgin Australia Australia Virgin Australia has asked for a A$1.4 billion ($848 million) loan from the Australian government. According to an AFR report on 31st March, Canberra is set to reject Virgin Australia's initial request. The airline wants the loan to be part of an industry package worth up to $5 billion ($3 billion), could be converted to an ownership stake in if not repaid in two to three years. "It is a preliminary proposal and remains subject to approval by the Virgin Australia Holdings board and the Australian government and may or may not include conversion to equity in certain circumstances," Virgin said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange. Virgin Australia, which reportedly already around A$5 billion ($3 billion) in debt, has a market value of A$675 million ($409 million), meaning the government could become a major owner if proposed the debt cannot be repaid. Virgin Australia Holdings, which owns the airline and Tigerair Australia, is owned by Etihad (20.94%), Singapore Airlines (20.09%), Nanshan Group (19.98%), HNA Group (19.82%) and the Virgin Group (10.42%). Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald, ASX 3/31/2020
Virgin Atlantic United Kingdom Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson has committed to investing $250 million into his companies, including Virgin Atlantic. The airline previously appealed to the UK government for support for the UK aviation sector, not just itself, comprising: Emergency credit facilities to a value of £5-7.5bn ($5.8-8bn) and slot alleviation for the full summer 2020 season. Virgin's request comes after the UK gave defunct carrier Flybe, backed by Virgin, a 106 million pounds ($138 million) in levied passenger duties in January. This request and the latest plea by Virgin have been criticised by rival IAG. Virgin Atlantic 3/22/2020
Wizz Air Hungary Wizz Air CEO József Váradi stated that "this situation is posing a significant threat on the aviation industry and we call on governments to take non-discriminatory steps which will benefit all airlines. This will enable an industry and environment that is healthy, efficient and more environmentally sustainable and will serve passengers through enhancing the mobility of people." In the same operational update, Wizz Air, one of the strongest LCC credits, said it is "confident in its ability to survive even a potential prolonged grounding substantially beyond the current estimates for the impact of COVID-19 in Europe" given the "significant balance sheet strength and liquidity" of the company. Wizz Air 3/23/2020
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