Paris, Brussels agree on Air France-KLM refinancing, says Bruno Le Maire

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Paris, Brussels agree on Air France-KLM refinancing, says Bruno Le Maire

After month-long debates over concessions, the French Government had reached an accord with EU Commission about a state-backed refinancing package to muscle up a beleaguered balance sheet of the Franco-Dutch airline holding Air France-KLM, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview with LCI TV on Sunday.

Nonetheless, Le Maire had declined to comment over the financial terms of the deal, though had reaffirmed that Air France-KLM’s management board would meet on Monday for a potential approval of the refinancing package, as a re-imposition of lockdown in major economies across the euro zone has been taking a greater toll.

In point of fact, Air France-KLM, the Tremblay-en-France-headquartered aviation industry giant employing more than 85,000 workers before the onset of pandemic, had received a $12.2 billion in Government-backed debts, while the Franco-Dutch airline had been in an advanced stage talk to shrug off some of its debt-loads over recent weeks, though according to people familiar with the subject-matter, the deal would likely to involve a conversion of €3 billion in French Government debts into hybrid instruments, terms of which have yet to be unveiled.

France, EU agree on Air France-KLM refinancing deal

Simply put, latest accord between Paris and Brussels over a refinancing plan in Air France-KLM, followed month-long qualms as EU had demanded Air France’s Paris-Orly take-off and landing slots as concessions.

Nevertheless, Le Maire was quoted saying on Sunday that the airline had agreed to give up some of its slots, but would not surrender the 24 slots initially demanded by the EU Commission adding “It has been a long and difficult negotiation but I think we have reached a good deal with (EU competition chief) Margrethe Vestager”.