Paris and EU reach agreement on Air France bailout terms: report | Reuters | Business

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 Paris and EU reach agreement on Air France bailout terms: report |  Reuters |  Business


PARIS (Reuters) – The French government and the European Union executive are close to an agreement on the terms of a bailout for Air France, which, like other carriers, has been hammered by the pandemic coronavirus, Le Monde reported.

The expected agreement would see Air France give up fewer airport flight slots at its Paris base than initially requested by the European Commission, in particular at Orly airport, the newspaper said in a report published on Friday evening.

Contacted by Reuters, a Commission spokesperson said she was in contact with the French authorities. “We cannot prejudge the timing or the outcome of these contacts,” she added.

Air France and the French Ministry of the Economy declined to comment.

The Air France-KLM group recorded a net loss of 7.1 billion euros ($ 8.38 billion) last year.

It has received € 10.4 billion in loans and guarantees from France and the Netherlands and has negotiated a state-backed recapitalization as EU regulators seek airport slot concessions at Paris-Orly and Amsterdam-Schiphol.

Under a plan submitted to Brussels, France would swap a € 4 billion shareholder loan granted to Air France-KLM last year for hybrid or perpetuity debt, sources said.

Air France and its unions had recoiled from the EU’s demands for slot concessions at Orly.

The slot concessions for KLM had not yet been approved by the Commission and the Dutch government, said Le Monde and the French daily Les Echos.

(1 USD = 0.8477 euros)

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz, Francesco Guarascio, Laurence Frost and Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Jan Harvey)



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