10 billion dollar bailout for German Lufthansa on course

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BERLIN –
Flagship German airline Lufthansa on Saturday agreed a compromise between the government and the European Union, overcoming a major obstacle to the final approval of a 9 billion euros (10 billion dollars) bailout package from Berlin .

Lufthansa said in a statement that it has accepted the compromise between Germany and the EU in which the airline will have to give up several popular landing slots at Munich and Frankfurt airports. The dpa news agency said the German government had also accepted the compromise.

The government announced Monday the aid plan to help Lufthansa, which, like most airlines, struggled during the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU, however, has imposed conditions, saying the bailouts must include measures that maintain a level playing field for other companies.

Details of the EU’s demands have not been released, but Lufthansa said the scope of the commitments it had accepted had been reduced compared to the original plans, the dpa said.

According to the agreement, the airline must withdraw up to four planes from the two airports, equivalent to three daily takeoffs and three landing rights per plane, to allow competitors to take up slots, the airline said. .

The slots will be reallocated as part of a tendering process. Low-cost airlines Ryanair and easyJet are both interested.

The Lufthansa supervisory board must now approve the full rescue plan, including the conditions, and the German government must finalize its plans with the European Commission.

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