Air France in talks with the French government on emergency funding: Les Echos

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By Maya Nikolaeva and Marine Pennetier

The airline has requested an immediate state cash injection to meet its needs over the next four to five months, the newspaper said, with air travel paralyzed by the shutdown of the coronavirus.

Air France KLM and the French Ministry of Finance declined to comment.

Negotiations with banks on loans to extend it over the next 12 to 18 months are taking longer than expected, Les Echos reported, adding that neither Air France KLM nor the banks were satisfied with the level of guarantee that France provides at 75%, which compares to a 90% backup by the Netherlands.

Sources previously told Reuters that Air France KLM is in talks with banks to receive up to 6 billion euros ($ 6.5 billion) in government-supported bank loans.

The airline said Thursday that despite cost-cutting measures to ward off the impact of the coronavirus crisis, it expects to run out of cash in the third quarter, but said it was confident in support from the French and Dutch governments.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said earlier this week that the government was ready to give massive support to the airline to save a French industrial champion.

Air France KLM chief executive Benjamin Smith has asked the French government to increase its warranty to 90%, Les Echos said.

(Report by Maya Nikolaeva and Marine Pennetier; Edited by David Holmes)

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