KLM repays anothr €350 mil. in State aid
KLM transferred another 350 million euros to the State. That means the Dutch airline has now repaid about two-thirds of the State aid it received to get it through the pandemic. The aviation sector has started recovering from the coronavirus crisis, making it possible to repay this debt, KLM noted.
The Cabinet made 3.4 billion euros in aid available to help KLM through the coronavirus crisis. KLM ended up using 942 million euros of that amount. The company has already repaid 311 million euros. After Friday's payment, KLM still owes 277 million euros. The airline will do everything it can to repay that amount as quickly as possible.
KLM CEO Pieter Elbers called it an important step for the company. KLM has to pay a lot of interest on the support, and employees have to hand in wages as long as the loan is not repaid.
The State aid came with strict conditions. According to Jeroen Kremers, the state agent who monitors compliance with the agreements on behalf of the Cabinet, an intended wage increase of 5 percent for all KLM staff does not meet those conditions unless money is saved elsewhere. Kremers also said that he wasn't informed about the upcoming wage increase when he should have been.
The regulator said that KLM should do more to achieve structural cost savings. KLM reduced costs by 30 percent last year. But according to the state agent, these are mainly temporary measures. As far as he is concerned, the company must now focus on more structural measures.
KLM said that it would work with the trade unions to find a solution to Kremer's criticism of the collective bargaining agreements. According to the KLM works council, the state agent's interim report was suggestive and full of false assumptions.