Coronavirus Crisis: France Readies ‘Historic’ Package to Rescue Air France, Renault

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

For Air France, a 7 billion euro ($7.5 billion) bundle is deliberate whereas for Renault, a 5 billion euro ($5.four billion) financial institution mortgage bundle assured by the state is being labored on.

  • AFP Relaxnews Paris
  • Last Updated: April 27, 2020, 10:15 AM IST

France is readying a historic bundle of multi-billion-euro loans to assist carmaker Renault and flag-carrier Air France by way of the disaster brought on by the coronavirus, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire mentioned on Friday. For Air France, a 7 billion euro ($7.5 billion) bundle is deliberate, made up of four billion euros in financial institution loans assured by the state and a three billion euro mortgage direct from the state, he instructed TF1 tv.

“We need to save our national company and the 350,000 direct and indirect employees affected,” he mentioned whereas describing the plan as “historic support”. “We are behind Air France, behind the employees of Air France to guarantee our independence and save jobs,” he added, whereas denying that nationalisation was on the playing cards.

But he warned that the assistance was not a “blank cheque” and would include “conditions” linked to its profitability but in addition environmental elements.

“Air France should become the most environmentally respectful airline on the planet. This is the most important condition for me,” Le Maire mentioned. “Air France needs to present a plan for reducing CO2 emissions and transforming its fleet to be less polluting,” he mentioned.

Air France-KLM, shaped after a merger with the Dutch flag-carrier, has mentioned it expects greater than 90 p.c of its planes to be grounded this month. A separate bundle is predicted from the Dutch authorities.

Airline business group IATA estimates that the coronavirus outbreak will price its members some $259 billion this yr alone.

For Renault, a 5 billion euro ($5.four billion) financial institution mortgage bundle assured by the state is being labored on, he mentioned.

“What is at stake here is our automobile industry. Renault is an industrial flagship that belongs to our culture and history,” he added.

Renault reported Thursday a 19.2 p.c plunge in first-quarter gross sales amid a basic market collapse brought on by the novel coronavirus.

The French state retains shareholdings in each Renault and Air France.

“This crisis is historic. It will last years. It will be long. It will be difficult. I want every business person to know that…. the state will be beside them,” Le Maire added. He mentioned France would do all the things “to save its companies and start again with an economy that is more respectful for the environment.”

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