23/04/2020

Covid-19 bailouts: State support for airlines approaches $100 billion

Covid-19 bailouts: State support for airlines approaches $100 billion

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

The tables below contain the demands or stakeholder approaches of approximately 104 carriers (including airlines inside holding groups) and 20 industry associations, as well as the policies or proposed measures of 52 countries and EU-level entities. Ishka estimates that as of 23rd April governments are preparing or executing $76.8 billion in confirmed bailouts or assistance measures for airlines globally. Unconfirmed reports suggest the total tally could be as high as $99.4 billion.

Ishka’s definition of government support for airlines encompasses any monetarily quantified relief measure provided by states or state-backed entities, including deferrals of taxes or operational charges, state-backed commercial loans and the nationalisation of airlines.

The tally of confirmed bailouts grew by over $1 billion with the announcement on 21st April that the Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), both state-owned banks, will provide a 1.7 trillion won ($1.37 billion) loan to Asiana Airlines. This is higher than the approximately $245 million previous reports indicated KDB and KEXIM were preparing to extend.

The tally of bailout packages still in the works (those yet to be confirmed) grew by over $5.5 billion with the following additions:

- New media reports maintaining that the Austrian bailout package for Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines could be as high as €800 million ($870 million);

- Reports that a Franco-Dutch government rescue deal for Air France-KLM would be closer to €10 billion ($10.9 billion), rather than the previously reported 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion);

- Reports that El Al Israel Airlines is in advanced talks with an Israeli bank to receive a $350 million loan backed by government guarantees.

 

The USD estimate for the yet unconfirmed R$10 billion Brazilian airlines financial assistance package from national development bank BNDES was revised downwards by $100 million due to the recent depreciation of the Brazilian real, which fell on 22nd April to an all-time low.

 

The Ishka View

 

If the nearly $100 billion in government bailouts listed, including unconfirmed reports, do materialise, governments would be on course to provide 40% of $250 billion in global bailouts which IATA forecasted at the end of March. These figures, however, remain vague references. A lot of the state aid listed comes with repayment caveats, and it is questionable whether IATA’s estimate truly reflects the industry’s short-term financial obligations.

It is also unclear whether the $250 billion projection still holds any bearing either, considering the increasingly bleaker prospects for the world economy, not least travel and transportation, shared by most recent observers. It does not come as a surprise, in this ever-evolving environment, that many governments are taking longer than initially expected to formulate their financial response to the airline industry, especially as the amounts keep increasing. In the space of a week, Air France-KLM’s bailout under negotiation is reported to have increased by $4.4 billion. In a similar vein, Asiana looks set to receive an extra $1.37 billion in state-backed loans from KEXIM and KDB – considerably higher than earlier reports suggested.

Based on recent developments, Ishka also observes that support for national carriers, whether state-owned or former national airlines (Alitalia, CSA, Nordica, Air-France, El Al Israel, Thai Airways) remains strong, but some second or third carriers by market share in competitive environments continue to face an uphill battle (Arkia, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia – now under administration).

 

State support tally

 

The table below tallies financial support measures for airlines (converted to US dollars) confirmed by 18 nations and state entities and, separately, amounts reported to be allocated by nine states to airlines but not yet confirmed. Ishka estimates that governments are preparing, or executing, $76.8 billion in bailouts for airlines around the world (confirmed reports). Unconfirmed reports suggest a further $22.60 billion could soon be allocated by nine other states, for a total tally of $99.4 billion.

 

State support for airlines as of 23rd April 2020 (tally)
Government / authority Amount (USD millions) - Confirmed Amount (USD millions) - Unconfirmed reports Concept [See State Support table for more details]
Australia 710.45 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. Also includes A$165 million ($103.85 million) paid to Qantas and Virgin Australia to maintain domestic flights for two months.
Austria 870 Media reports speculate that the bailout for Austrian Airlines being negotiated between the Austrian government and parent company Lufthansa could be in the region of €500 million to €800 million ($543 million to 870 million).
Brazil 1900 Brazilian national development bank BNDES will reportedly help local airlines with up to R$ 10 billion ($1.9 billion) in credit, according to local newspaper Valor on 19th April. The report follows coverage by other media in recent weeks providing the same estimate. An official announcement was yet to take place.
Canada 200 Export Development Canada will provide Toronto-based Porter Airlines with C$135 million ($100 million) in commercial financing secured by a portion of its fleet of 29 aircraft. Chorus Aviation (which controls regional and charter operators Jazz Aviation) has also executed a letter of offer with EDC to provide an unsecured US$100 million revolving credit facility.
Denmark 170.8 Danish state guarantee for a €137 million ($170.8 million) revolving credit facility for Scandinavian airline SAS.
European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) 1190 The ANSPs, 41 member states of Eurocontrol, have agreed to delay payments worth 1.1 billion euros ($1.19 billion) due for air navigation services in February through May. Payment of February’s charges were delayed to November 2020, with payments for March, April and May delayed to 2021.
Finland 645 Finland will guarantee Finnair’s 600 million euro ($645 million) pension premium loan to aid the flag carrier.
France / Netherlands 10900 Reuters reported on 22nd April that Air France-KLM is moving towards a €10 billion ($10.9 billion) government-backed rescue deal, according to sources. Earlier on 8th April, a French junior minister said that a figure of 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion) in government loans by France and the Netherlands to help Air France-KLM is "not unrealistic."
Germany 2000 The TUI Group has been granted a €1.8 billion ($2 billion) bridge loan from German development bank KfW.
Hong Kong 627.5 Approximately $34.5 million in government cash injections for Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airlines based on registered aircraft as well as HK$4.6 billion ($593 million) in relief measures for airlines from the Hong Kong Airport Authority (AA), including unsold ticket purchases, waivers of taxes, parking fees and ATC charges.
Iceland 0.7 Iceland will pay carrier Icelandair up to 100 million krona ($717,000) to keep some flights to and from Iceland open for three weeks, according to Icelandic daily Morgunbladid.
Israel 350 El Al Israel Airlines said it is in advanced talks with an Israeli bank to receive a loan that will be partly backed by government guarantees. A report by Israeli business news site Globes says the $350 million loan sought by El Al would be 75-80% guaranteed by the state and would be repaid over six years.
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.
Russia 308 Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed allocating more than 23 billion rubles ($308 million) to carriers affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Samoa 0.35 The Samoan government injected $1 million tala ($359,000) in state-owned Samoa Airways to help it pay dues to local businesses.
Senegal 74.6 Senegal has allocated 45 billion CFA francs ($74.6 million) to Air Senegal as part of a financial assistance package for its transportation industry.
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 1528 Airlines are expected to tap part of the funds. Separately, the state-owned Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) decided on 21st April to provide a 1.7 trillion won ($1.37 billion) loan for Asiana Airlines. The KDB is also reportedly planning to lend up to KRW 300 billion ($242 million) to low-cost airlines, including the approximate $152 million amounts confirmed so far.
Sweden 499 Swedish loan guarantee scheme covering SEK 5 billion ($499 million) for 20 airlines registered in Sweden.
Switzerland 5140 According to a report by the Sonntagszeitung newspaper, the Swiss federal government could be preparing to announce support measures for airlines worth 3-5 billion francs ($3.08 billion to $5.14 billion).
Taiwan 1600 Government announced help of T$50 billion ($1.6 billion) for airlines.
United Kingdom 740 EasyJet has issued £600m ($740 million) of Commercial Paper through the Bank of England's Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).
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 $76.8 billion $22.60 billion $99.4 billion
Ishka research *Approximation: Only 56% of SIA issuances accounted for (Temasek's share)

Click here to download the tables.

 

For an expanded table of state support measures including a further 25 countries and EU-level entities: Click here to download the tables.

 

 

Click here to download the tables.

 

Airline requests

 

The table below lists the demands for state aid, hints at the possible need for state support or criticism of government assistance by 104 carriers (including airlines inside holding groups) and 20 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 23rd April 2020
Airline Comments or demands Context Source Date of latest announcement / report
Aeromar Aeromar CEO Danilo Correa says the airline does not expect a government bailout but rather temporary help to overcome the worst of the crisis. Aeromar is a privately-owned small regional carrier with around 10 ATR aircraft in its fleet. The airline expects losses of 500 million pesos ($20.6 million) in 2020. Reportur 4/16/2020
Aeromexico Aeromexico CFO Ricardo Sanchez Baker has told Bloomberg that any government support would be welcomed. The Mexican government is averse to providing state support to companies [see 'State Support table]. Bloomberg 4/15/2020
Air Arabia The airline has asked the UAE government for financial assistance, according to Bloomberg sources. Air Arabia has bases in the UAE, Egypt and Morocco, a fleet of around 55 Airbus narrowbody, and a large Airbus orderbook. Bloomberg 4/13/2020
Air 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 on 20th March. Terzakis told the same newspaper on 10th April that he would like state aid for all Belgian airlines, not just Air Belgium. The CEO did not specify how much money Air Belgium would need. According to Aviation24.be, Terzakis reiterated his call for state air for airlines in Belgium on 22nd April speaking to the Belga news agency. Air Belgium is a small scheduled and charter airline with a fleet of four A340-300 aircraft. HLN, Aviation24.be 4/22/2020
Air 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 airline on 8th April said it will adopt the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for the benefit of 36,000 Canada-based employees. 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 4/8/2020
Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) 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
Air Europa According to an article by El Confidencial on 20th April, Globalia CEO Javier Hidalgo, the parent company of Air Europa, has asked the Spanish government to pressure the European Commission to speed up the IAG takeover of the airline. The article also claims Air Europa has requested a €130 million ($140 million) loan from state-owned bank ICO. Bloomberg on 22nd April reported that IAG is renegotiating the terms of its €1 billion ($1.1 billion) purchase agreement of Air Europa. The deal was initially announced in November 2019. El Confidencial, Bloomberg 4/20/2020
Air France-KLM Group Air France-KLM is holding "in-depth" discussions with their respective governments, the group said on 9th April. The airline group has reportedly requested several billion euros of emergency funds from the French state while it negotiates a loan package from banks, which would be guaranteed by France and the Netherlands. Reuters reported on 22nd April that Air France-KLM is moving towards a €10 billion ($10.9 billion) government-backed rescue deal, according to sources. On 1st April, KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said 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." Elbers said separately that KLM is not working on "disentanglement scenarios" separating from Air France, instead saying "we're working on financing." According to Les Echos report on 10th April, Air France-KLM is losing 25 million euros ($27 million) a day. 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] Reuters, Air France-KLM, Les Echos, NU.nl, RTL 4/22/2020
Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) In a third letter to the government on 6th April, ATAC called the government to refund the equivalent of four months execise tax on aviation fuel purchased in Ontario back to the purchaser. In a previous letter, 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 4/6/2020
AirAsia Group AirAsia is negotiating for loans instead of an outright bailout from the Malaysian federal government, co-founder Tony Fernandes said on 2nd April. “No bailout, we don’t need a bailout; obviously many airlines are looking at loans," he said, adding that "if available in Malaysia or Thailand and such" the company would look for government loans. According to a report on The Star newspaper on 8th April, AirAsia is also asking various government and airport authorities for waivers of parking and station charges. The report says the government had offered a 15% parking discount but AirAsia wanted a total waiver. Airlines in Malaysia could get up to RM10 billion ($2.2 billion) in loans guaranteed by sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the New Straits Times reported on 1st April. [See State Support table]. The airline is due to resume flights on 29th April, it announced on 17th April. Malay Mail, The Star 4/2/2020
Airlines for America (A4A) - trade association A4A issued a statement on 14th April thanking the US government for their efforts to provide payroll assistance funds after an agreement between the 10 largest airlines and the US Treasury was reached on 10th April. A4A has seen 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. 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 4/14/2020
Airlines for Europe (A4E) and European Regions Airline Association (ERA) - trade associations A4E's core 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. The first of these demands has also been partially met through EUROCONTROL's decision to refer ATC charges for airlines operating in its 41 member countries. [see 'European Parliament' and 'European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs)' 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 4/7/2020
Airlines UK In a letter on 8th April Airlines UK welcomed a decision by the Department of Transport to defer payment of Air Navigation charges for February to May 2020 for a period of 14 months. Previously, 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 4/8/2020
ALTA (Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association) ALTA on 7th April reiterated in a new letter to regional governments the following demands: 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 4/7/2020
American Airlines 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 has applied for $5.81 billion in payroll grants and intends to apply for a further $4.75 billion in loans or loan guarantees under the CARES 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 4/15/2020
ANA - All Nippon Airways ANA Holdings will request a government guarantee for part of the 1.3 trillion yen ($12 billion) in credit lines that ANA is asking from public- and private-sector lenders, according to the Nikkei newspaper. ANA is also requesting 300 billion yen ($2.75 billion) in loans from a lending program run by the government-backed Development Bank of Japan. The report states that ANA, Japan's largest airline by revenues and passenger numbers, is losing 100 billion yen ($919 million) monthly amid fixed costs and severely reduced revenue. The company has reportedly cancelled nearly 90% of its international services. Nikkei Asian Review 4/7/2020
Arab Air Carriers' Organization (AACO) 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 3/31/2020
Arkia Arkia's board of directors was reportedly due to meet on the 3rd week of April to vote on the dissolution of the airline if it fails to receive state aid, news site Ynet reported on 8th April. Arkia chairman Avi Hurmero said if the Covid-19 crisis continues "there will be no escape" for Israeli airlines and would expect a merger among or between all three major Israeli airlines. Arkia has a fleet of nine aircraft and is Israel's second-largest carrier. Ynet 4/8/2020
Asiana The Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) decided on 21st April to provide a 1.7 trillion won ($1.37 billion) loan for Asiana Airlines. According to the state-backed creditors, the new loan is designed to enable the airline to maintain its financial soundness until the acquisition by HDC Hyundai Development Company is completed. Asiana previously rejected reports stating it had requested KEXIM and the KDB to provide financial support. Loss-making and heavily indebted Asiana reportedly faces losses of 1 trillion won ($817.4 million) based on Q1 performance projections. CAPA, JoongAng Daily, Business Korea, Pulse News 4/21/2020
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) 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
Austrian Airlines Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech has told Austrian daily Die Presse that the airline needs state aid in the form of state guarantees or non-repayable aid, not a minority stake. Von Hoensbroech reportedly said that rumoured bailouts of between €500 million and €800 million ($543 million to $870 million) for the airline were "wrong" as the final amount would depend on how long the situation lasts. [See 'Austria' in the State Support table for more details]. Lufthansa Group, the parent company of Austrian Airlines, previously confirmed that it 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." Die Presse, Airliners.de 4/12/2020
Azul Azul CEO John Rodgerson told Reuters on 15th April that the carrier was still "somewhat far away" from reaching a deal for a loan with state-owned bank BNDES [See State Support table]. Earlier, in an interview published on 1st April by NeoFeed, Rodgerson aid the measures being worked out by the BNDES are "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]. Reuters, O Globo, NeoFeed 4/15/2020
Blue Air Blue Air has asked the Romanian government for a rescue loan of 42-45 million euros ($45.6-$48.9 million) at a preferential interest rate. Blue Air is the largest Romanian air carrier and the second-biggest player in its market after Wizz Air. Romania’s government approved a 37 million euro ($40.2 million) loan for the state-owned airline Tarom in February before the Covid-19 crisis. Romania Insider 4/8/2020
Brussels Airlines Brussels Airlines has requested aid from the Belgian State for 290 million euros ($315 million) according to a report on The Brussels Times on 4th April. The amount is higher than the €200 million it was reportedly due to request as of late March reports [see 'Belgium' in the State Support table for reports on the possible nationalisation of Brussels Airlines]. On 16th April, Brussels Airlines announced the entry of Jan Smet (former governor of Belgium's central bank) to its board as well as the continuation of Etienne Davignon in his new capacity and Minister of State for the Belgian government. The airline said their expertise will help the airline through the current "turbulent times." 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) previously confirmed it is in discussions with the Belgian government about obtaining state support. The latest report also states that companies also requesting aid from the Belgian state include Air Belgium, TUI Group (both listed in this table), Sabena Aerospace, Aviapartner and Swissport, The Brussels Times, Tijd, Lufthansa 4/16/2020
Cathay Pacific Prior to the announcement on 8th April of an Airport Authority (AA) relief package worth HK$2 billion ($258 million), including an offer to purchase around 500,000 tickets in advance from the four Hong Kong-based carriers, Cathay Pacific had said in an emailed response to the media that a prior HK$1 billion ($129 million) relief package by the AA was not enough. 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
Copa Airlines Copa Airlines refuted reports it had requested $700 million from the Panamanian government and said it has taken its own measures to overcome the Covid-19 crisis. Copa's response followed media reports claiming the airline had requested a government bailout. Eco TV Panama 4/16/2020
Corsair International Corsair CEO Pascal de Izaguirre told BFM Business during a live interview that the company is currently not eligible for state guaranteed loans due to "restrictive" equity requirements. Izaguirre said the airline needs help to survive the crisis and resume operations. Corsair is scheduled and charter long-haul leisure airline. Its main stakeholders are German investor Intro Aviation (53%) and the TUI Group (27%). BFM Business 4/20/2020
Delta Airlines Delta Airlines has applied for payroll grants worth $5.4 billion as part of the $58 billion bailout for air carriers in the CARES Act. "We’re thankful to members of Congress and the Administration for recognizing the importance of our people and our industry," CEO Ed Bastian said on a letter to employees on 14th April. Delta Airlines, like other major US carriers, expressed its demands in March through the A4A trade association (see above). These demands were met by the CARES Act. Message to employees 4/14/2020
EasyFly EasyFly founder Alonso Avila said in an interview that crisis measures taken by the Colombian government so far have helped companies improve their liquidity "but not minimise losses." Avila asked the Colombian government for bank loan guarantees as well as "intelligently regulating" for the resumption of operations, particularly if social distancing measures resulting in passenger limitations per aircraft are introduced. EasyFly is a Colombian LCC with 22 ATR 42 and 72 aircraft in its fleet Caracol TV 4/21/2020
EasyJet 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 El Al said on 21st April that it is in advanced talks with a local bank to receive a loan backed by government guarantees [see State Support table]. Just a few days earlier, on 16th April, the airline reiterated that it risks shutting down if the government does grant it a $350 million loan. On 7th April, the Israeli Treasury rejected the airline's request for a state loan of $350 million. In late March, El Al chairman Eli Defes said the carrier was "six week away from collapse." Earlier, in a letter to employees, El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin said that assistance of $200 million to $300 million from the state is critical for the company. 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 million-300 million state loan that will enable El Al to recover and quickly resume regular activity." Previous reports said El Al estimated it would need 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 million-160 million for the period from January to April 2020 as a result of the suspension of multiple lines and declining demand. Reuters, The Times of Israel, The Yeshiva World, Globes 4/21/2020
Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines Group will seek help from the state if the coronavirus crisis impact on global travel persists for more than three months, CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told reporters on 15th April. On 18th April, the carrier refuted reports claiming the airline had received preferential treatment ahead of other airlines from the Kenyan government with a deal to keep operating cargo flights. Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest African carriers, lost $550 million in the four months through April and is operating at 10% of capacity. Bloomberg, The Star 4/18/2020
European Aviation Industry Joint Statement The joint statement, titled 'Europe’s aviation industry is facing an unprecedented liquidity crisis -- the European Union must act now!' welcomes "initial actions" by the European Commission in areas such as state aid, but urges EU member states to: 1) provide financial support "as quickly as possible to the whole travel ecosystem." 2) take "all the necessary measures" to ensure short-term financial viability of travel enterprises 3) set up "an organised consultation procedure" to exchange updated information and address urgent issues, and draw up lines for mid and long-term solutions. The joint press statement was issued by Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airline Catering Association (ACA), Airports Council International (ACI EUROPE), Airport Services Association (ASA), The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA), European Regions Airline Association (ERA), European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) and EU Travel Tech (EUTT). A4E 4/3/2020
European Regions Airline Association (ERA) ERA on 7th April welcomed a decision by Eurocontrol member states to defer ATC fees [see 'State Support']. Previously, on 25th March, the association 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 4/7/2020
Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries (NHO Luftfart) 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
GOL Linhas Aereas In an investor update, the airline said it "will continue to focus on delivering cost savings, protecting jobs, working with the Brazilian Government, and preparing for the return to normal service in due course" and added it further supported "governmental actions to offset, at least partially, the impact of Covid-19 on the passenger transportation industry." In the investor call, CEO Paulo Kakinoff valued a potential credit from Brazil’s state development bank BNDES at 3 billion reais ($574.64 million) to be repaid over five years with payment starting only on the third year. GOL has grounded the majority of its fleet. Reuters, GOL investor update 4/7/2020
Greek airlines: Air Mediterranean, Blue Bird, Ellinair, GainJet, Lumiwings and Orange2Fly (joint letter) 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
Helvetic Airways Helvetic Airways CEO Tobias Pogorevc said the airline does not have and "will not" apply for state aid. Pogorevc said it has negotiated with creditors to reduce expenditures and the owners of the airlines have guaranteed its liquidity. Helvetic Airways is a regional carrier mostly operating scheduled flights on behalf of SWISS. It has 13 Embraer E190 aircraft in its fleet, including three E2s. Airliners.de 4/17/2020
IAG 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
Icelandair "Icelandair Group has also been in close contact with the Icelandic Government during the process," CEO Bogil Nils Bogason said in a statement on 17th April. In a company update on 6th April, the Icelandair Group would work closely with the Icelandic government in the upcoming process of "strengthening the long-term capital structure of the Company." Icelandair's liquidity position is still "well above" its $200 million minimum level, but assuming minimum revenue generation in April and May, the company expects to dip below that minimum level in the coming months. Icelandair Group 4/17/2020
India - Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry FICCI has sought a bailout package for the domestic aviation industry, including direct cash support from the government, interest-free soft loans and a two-year holiday, the Press Trust of India reporting on 18th April. The industry lobby also pitched for deferment of term loans by up to six months. Earlier on 2nd April, FICCI Aviation Committee Chairman Anand Stanley said in a letter on to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri that the sector needs an urgent bailout. "The government may immediately provide direct cash support to Indian carriers, so that airlines can meet their fixed costs, at least for the period where loss of revenues and liquidity is directly attributable to the government’s directive to cease operation,” Stanley said. “The government could undertake some policy measures for at least 20% contribution towards the total salary bill of employees with a gross salary of INR 30,000 or less per month,” he added in the letter. India has suspended flights until 14th April amid a three-week nationwide lockdown. Press Trust of India, TravelBixMonitor.com 4/18/2020
Indonesia National Air Carrier Association (INACA) INACA in a press statement on 15th April welcomed the Indonesian Transportation Ministry's decision to lift the price ceiling for air tickets to financially support airlines as they introduce government-mandated passenger limitations. Earlier on 27th March, INACA chairman Denon Prawiratmadja said that Indonesia's airline industry needed help in the form of fiscal incentives, such as corporate income tax payment postponement and spare part import duty suspension, as well as stimulus from the government through discounts on several fees to keep the industry alive during the pandemic and recovery period. Prawiratmadja also said he hoped the state-owned enterprises ministry could provide assistance in the form of a reduction of airport and navigation fees. INACA members include Garuda Indonesia, TransNusa, Triagana Air Service, XpressAir, Citilink, Sriwijaya Air, NAM Air, AirAsia, Batik Air, Wings Air and Lion Air. INACA, The Jakarta Post 4/15/2020
Kenya Airways The airline said on Twitter that it is "engaging with the Government for their continued support during this time & we are having very useful discussions around the same." The carrier is partly state-owned, with the Government of Kenya its largest shareholder at 48.9%. Kenya Airways via Twitter 4/16/2020
Korea Civil Aviation Association (KCA) The KCA has demanded the South Korean government offer a bailout package to airlines amid the unparalleled crisis. KCA warned that the pandemic put the Korean carriers on the brink. According to the report, Korean carriers are expected to have $5.22 billion in losses due to the coronavirus outbreak in the first quarter of the year. Airline Geeks 4/7/2020
LATAM LATAM on 17th April refuted reports stating it had agreed on new credit facilities with state-owned bank BancoEstado, saying the existing agreements with the bank predate the crisis. [See 'Chile' in the State Support table for more details] Incoming LATAM CEO Roberto Alvo renewed calls for government assistance during a 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. The director of LATAM Colombia, Santiago Alvarez, called on the Colombian government in an El Tiempo article on 24th March to delay tax collection, waive aircraft parking fees and offer government loans to airlines. Alvarez on 14th April also included in his requests loans repayable in five to 10 years with a repayment grace period of six to 12 months. 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, El Tiempo 3/17/2020
Lauda Lauda on 9th April urged the Austrian government not to grant rival Austrian Airlines state aid. “We do not believe that Lufthansa should receive state aid from Austrian taxpayers in exactly the same way we do not believe that Ryanair should receive state aid from Austrian taxpayers,” Andreas Gruber, the managing director of Ryanair’s Austrian unit Lauda, said. If Austrian receives aid, then Lauda would expect similar support. Lauda is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ryanair. According to press reports, Austrian Airlines could have requested between €500 million and €800 million ($545 million to $872 million). On 12th April, the CEO of Austrian Airlines said these amounts were wrong but confirmed the airline is asking for state support. Reuters 4/9/2020
Lufthansa Group 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. 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." Reuters reported on 2nd April that Berlin is in talks to provide Lufthansa with billions of euros in state aid and could take a stake in the airline. A Bloomberg report on the same day noted that the amount of the bailout would hinge on whether the airline refunds passengers with unused tickets. 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 bid for Germany's Condor. Reuters, Bloomberg, N-TV, Seeking Alpha, Lufthansa 4/2/2020
Malaysia Airlines 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. [See 'Malaysia' in State Support table for more details] The airline is wholly owned by Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Bloomberg 3/25/2020
Malta Business Bureau 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) 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
Nordica State-owned Estonian airline Nordica is asking for state aid of over €20 million ($21.5 million) to shore it up. [See Estonia in State Support table for more details] Nordica, 51% state-owned with a minority 49% stake held by LOT Polish Airlines, has a fleet of around 22 ATR72-600 and Bombardier CRJ aircraft. ERR 4/21/2020
Norwegian Air Shuttle Norwegian issued a statement on 20th April saying it had asked the governments of Denmark and Sweden for help but did not receive "significant financial support" from those countries. Norwegian Air’s subsidiaries for employing pilots and cabin crew in Denmark and Sweden filed for bankruptcy on 20th April. "In Norway, there are efficient furlough opportunities which means that the government pays for all salary related costs throughout the duration of the furlough period. Unfortunately, there is not the equivalent coverage in Sweden or Denmark schemes." the airline said. Norwegian has received NOK 300 million ($27.5 million) out of a NOK 3 billion ($276 million) guarantee package from the government of Norway. The package, part of a larger NOK 6 billion allocated to airlines in Norway, received EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) approval on 31st March. [See State Support table]. Norwegian 4/20/2020
oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance 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) 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 Qantas had told the government that it expected a $4.2 billion loan if Virgin Australia (which filed for voluntary administration on 21st April) was bailed out, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce had been critical of suggestions that its embattled rival 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 had 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 had 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 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 wholly-owned by the government of Qatar. Reuters 3/29/2020
Regional Airline Association (RAA) Reacting to the US Treasury initial term sheet for payroll assistance grants under the CARES Act, the RAA said in a April 14th statement that two of its member airlines “who are erroneously being considered major airlines because of the size of their payroll,” were still in talks with the Treasury. These are understood to be Republic Airways and ExpressJet Airlines [see Insight: 'CARES Act: US to hold 0.5% to 3% in airline stock warrants']. For the most part, the RAA has seen 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]. 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 4/14/2020
Regional Airline Association of Australia (RAAA) 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, RAAA 3/30/2020
Russian Association of Air Transport Operators (RATOA) RATOA on 13th April asked the Russian government to amend aviation law to allow carriers to provide vouchers instead of refunds for cancelled flights due to the Covid-19 crisis. On 20th March, RATOA 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. CAPA, Interfax, Russian Aviation Insider 4/13/2020
Russian regional airlines 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, Yakutia, Polar Airlines, Khabarovsk Airlines, Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise, Chukotavia, National Air Medical Service and Russian Helicopter Systems. Russian Aviation Insider 3/31/2020
SAS SAS has been given approximately SEK 3.5 billion ($350 million) in credit guarantees by the Swedish and Danish governments [See 'Denmark' and 'Sweden' in the State Support table for more details]. The airline warned in a 7th April statement that while "pleased" to be receiving assistance from Denmark, Sweden and Norway [see Norway in this table], "the earmarked amounts will not suffice to secure and safeguard critical infrastructure if the situation is prolonged." SAS is part-owned by Sweden (14.82%) and Denmark (14.24%) with the remainder held by private owners. Dagens Naeringsliv 4/7/2020
SATA Air Acores The airline told the Lusa news agency that it is ready to use "any tools" of financial assistance at its disposal and said it was studying internally "the different levels of aid" available. The airline's parent company, SATA SGPS is wholly owned by the government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores. Lusa, Noticias ao minuto 4/1/2020
Smartwings Smartwings Chairman of the Board Jiří Šimáně has reportedly said the airline would prefer a state guarantee for bank loans but it would also be prepared to discuss the possibility of the government buying a stake in the carrier. Šimáně suggested that the Chinese CITIC Group could sell its stake on the airline to the Czech government [see State Support table for more details]. Šimáně, in a separate interview on 22nd April, alluded to bailouts for flag carriers under negotiation in Germany, the US, Sweden, Denmark, UK and France as prove that the Czech government must also follow suit in helping its national airlines. Smartwings, which has a fleet of around 35 aircraft including several 737 MAX aircraft, also owns 98% of flag carrier Czech Airlines. Seznamzpravy, Zdopravy 4/22/2020
Spanish carriers 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. Iberia told newspaper La Informacion on 4th April that the only state aid it has accessed so far are wage subsidies for furloughed workers. El Confidencial on 20th April reported that Air Europa had requested a €130 million ($140 million) loan from ICO. The report states that airlines in Spain have around 90% of their fleet grounded. El Confidencial, La Informacion 4/20/2020
SpiceJet SpiceJet owner Ajay Singh has said Indian airlines, including SpiceJet, have sought short-term relief from the government and have urged the government to include jet fuel "in the GST regime." India has suspended flights until 3rd May amid a nationwide lockdown. Livemint, The Economic Times 4/14/2020
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) 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 3/19/2020
TAP Portugal Shareholder David Neeleman has proposed obtaining a state guarantee for private placements totalling €350 million ($377.6 million) sold through Chinese banks Haitong Bank and ICBC, the Expresso newspaper reported on 22nd April. Portuguese news agency Lusa reported that a letter with the proposal was sent to the Portuguese aviation authority (ANAC) on 20th March. The proposal is reportedly being analysed by the Portuguese government. Earlier on 16th April, TAP chairman Miguel Frasquilho confirmed the airline has requested state aid from the Portuguese government and it expects an answer soon. [See Portugal in State Support table for more details] TAP Portugal is 50% owned by the Portuguese state, 5% by workers and the remaining stake by airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, sister airline Azul (also partly owned by Neeleman), and Portuguese entrepreneur Humberto Pedrosa. Presstur, Expresso.pt 4/22/2020
The Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan The association thanked the government on 7th April for deferring collection of taxes, national insurance payments and landing fees for one year. The association said revenue for airlines in Japan is expected to decreased by about 500 billion yen ($4.6 billion) for the February to May period. Earlier on 6th April, the Nikkei Asian Review had reported that, according to the association, air carriers in Japan had asked the government for $18 billion in government aid. At the start of March the association issued a press release calling on the Japanese government to introduce tax exemption measures (such as a waiver on landing and parking fees, and fuel taxes) and requested urgent loans for airlines. Nikkei, The Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan 4/7/2020
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) UAI President Evgeny Dykhne said on 27th March the airline has written "the relevant appeals" for state assistance, including a loan from a state bank with favourable terms. According to the Kyiv Post, Dykhne also told website Ukrainska Pravda on 1st April that he has asked the government for subsidies for UIA and other aviation industry enterprises, or at least a “stabilization loan with clear repayment periods,” and said that the state could “mobilize its own banks to help the aviation industry.” He also evoked the possibility of cancelling payments for air navigation services and airport charges for a short period of time after the quarantine is lifted. 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. Dykhne believes the Ukrainian government has not yet helped the airline because oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, who is reportedly accused of bank fraud costing the state $5.5 billion, co-owns the enterprise. "For some reason, the government believes that everything done for aviation is done for Kolomoisky, and it’s not in the trend to do anything for Kolomoisky now. Therefore, nothing happens.” CFTS, Kyiv Post 4/2/2020
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Atlantic is seeking a £500 million ($620 million) bailout from the UK government comprising a loan and credit guarantee, Travel Weekly reported on 3rd April. On 20th April, Virgin founder Richard Branson pledged its private island in the British Virgin Islands as collateral for the loan after the UK government reportedly rejected its initial bailout proposal. 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 £5bn-£7.5bn ($5.8bn-$8bn) and slot alleviation for the full summer 2020 season. Virgin's requests come after the UK gave defunct carrier Flybe, backed by Virgin, £106 million ($138 million) in levied passenger duties in January. This request and the latest plea by Virgin have been criticised by rival IAG. Travel Weekly, Virgin Atlantic 4/20/2020
Virgin Australia Virgin Australia filed for voluntary administration on 21st April after failing to obtain a government bailout. Virgin Australia had asked for a A$1.4 billion ($848 million) loan from the Australian government [See 'Australia' in State Support table for more details]. The airline wanted 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. 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 4/21/2020
Viva Air Colombian LCC Viva Air said measures introduced by the Colombian government so far are "insufficient" as the maximum support each airline is able to access is $1 million. "We need larger loans, but not necessarily stratospheric. We ask for reasonable taxes, not zero taxes, with a grace period of between two and three years and with a payment period of five years. They are reasonable requests that would help us get through this crisis," Viva Air CEO Felix Antelo told La Republica newspaper. Viva Air Colombia operates 21 A320-200 aircraft and is a sister airline of Viva Air Peru. La Republica, Reportur 4/7/2020
Wizz Air Wizz Air CEO József Váradi told Bloomberg on 1st April that the airline has enough cash to survive 1.5 years and called on states to resist handing out aid to airlines. “Most European airlines have been badly mismanaged when it comes to liquidity (...) now they’re all begging for state support. Governments should only be stepping in in areas of employment and reducing charges such as air-navigation costs,” he said. Váradi said he’s concerned that Germany in particular might dole out billions of euros in backing for Lufthansa, saying that would “completely destroy the market” and set a precedent for bailouts with a social agenda. Only the U.K. appears to be taking a measured approach, he said, with a pledge to provide aid only as a last resort and then on purely commercial terms. Wizz Air on 20th April said it has received confirmation that it is an eligible issuer under the UK government's Covid Corporate Financial Facility (CCFF) which EasyJet [See State Support table] has already accessed. 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 4/20/2020
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