French Government in bailout talks with Air France and considers Nationalising the beleaguered Carrier

Air France will cut the majority of its short-haul flights

Air France is to receive ‘massive support’ from the State and could be nationalised, the French state is a shareholder in Air France-KLM, with 14 per cent of the capital.

PASSENGER traffic for Air France-KLM in March plummeted by 50.6 per cent as a result of the progressive reduction of capacity and cancellation of flights brought on by the crisis of the coronavirus.

The Franco-Dutch airline group saw a drop of over 90 per cent in April and May, in the face of this unprecedented crisis, the French State is even proposing a temporary nationalisation of the airline.

In a statement, Air France-KLM acknowledged that it is unable to project forecasts beyond May due to “the high level of uncertainty regarding the duration of the crisis.”

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He underlined, in any case, that he monitors the situation daily to assess whether additional adjustments are necessary.

For now, this month and next month, the low-cost subsidiary Transavia will remain completely grounded and both Air France and KLM will continue to limit themselves to covering ‘key’ destinations from their platforms at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam airports, respectively.

In recent days, Air France has had a flight programme equivalent to 5 per cent of what was usual. This March, all of the group’s brands carried a total of 3,597,000 passengers.

Financial help

France is the latest government to agree to provide financial help to its airlines amidst the ongoing virus outbreak. The aviation industry has been hit the hardest financially as travel restrictions increase and demand plummets.

China has previously said it will provide financial incentives for any airline willing to fly to mainland China. Indonesia has also put money aside to aid its struggling airlines. France has now joined the growing list of airlines which will provide aid for its flag carrier amid the coronavirus outbreak.



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