KLM pays off coronavirus State Aid
KLM is repaying the final amount of loans from the Dutch government and banks to get it through the coronavirus pandemic, the airline said on Thursday. "KLM is incredibly grateful to the Dutch government and banks for their support during the pandemic," the airline said.
The government offered KLM 3.4 billion euros in State aid. The airline ended up using 942 million euros of that amount. Thanks in part to cost-cutting, the removal of travel restrictions, and the rising demand for airline tickets, KLM managed to repay that amount this year in three installments - 311 million euros on May 3, 354 million euros on June 3, and now 227 million euros.
By repaying the State aid as quickly as possible, KLM wants to show that “it takes its responsibilities seriously and that it keeps its promises to its financial stakeholders, government, and society.”
Departing KLM CEO Pieter Elbers is delighted that KLM could repay the loans before he leaves, despite the coronavirus crisis and current problems at Schiphol airport. “I’d like to sincerely thank everyone at KLM for their huge efforts. This last repayment is therefore also a welcome crowing result of everyone’s efforts so far and serves as encouragement for the entire KLM workforce in facing these difficult times.”
Because the near future remains uncertain due to the high inflation, rising costs, and the war in Ukraine, KLM opted to retain access to future credit of 2.4 billion euros (723 million euros in government loans and 1.735 billion from the banks). KLM expects to have sufficient financial resources available for the coming years but would like to have this credit facility to fall back on in the event of another crisis.