KLM seeking multibillion euro emergency loan from Dutch gov't
Aviation giant Air France-KLM Group is currently in discussion with various banks in order to secure at least six billion euros in government-backed emergency loans, sources told news agency Reuters on Friday. The emergency loans, of which 2 billion euros will likely go to KLM, are being designed in order to help keep the airlines afloat during the economic fallout resulting from the coronavirus crisis.
France owns 14.3 percent of the airline conglomerate, and the Netherlands owns 14 percent. China Eastern Airlines and Delta each own 8.8 percent.
According to local news broadcaster NOS, while Dutch authorities have given no comment on the matter, Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra did however confirm that he is currently in the midst of having “intensive conversations” with KLM, Air France-KLM and with the French authorities.
Hoekstra added that he is looking to do everything in his authority to “help in this difficult phase” concerning KLM, believing the company to be a vital part of the Dutch economy.
KLM was likely to let go of about two thousand workers on temporary contracts as the coronavirus pandemic decimates the travel industry. Hoekstra and Wouter Koolmees, the social affairs minister, discussed the issue with KLM CEO Pieter Elbers.
Hoekstra said he believed KLM was doing its best to keep as many current workers employed as possible.