Spanish government considering loans for Iberia

The Spanish government is considering granting soft loans to flagship airline Iberia, a unit of London-listed International Consolidated Airlines Group, newspaper El Pais reported on Tuesday. The government is not considering taking a stake in the airline for now, the newspaper said.

Spain is discussing with other European Union countries and the European Commission plans to aid the region’s airlines as the coronavirus pandemic forces an almost complete stop to commercial passenger flying.

Iberia like other companies can draw from special credit lines offered to companies facing liquidity problems, a source from the Transport Ministry said.

French cabinet announced on 25 April it was readying a "historic" package of multi-billion euro loans to help carmaker Renault and flag-carrier Air France through the crisis caused by the coronavirus. The French state retains shareholdings in both Renault and Air France of 15 and 14.3% respectively.

For Air France, a seven billion euro ($7.5bn) package is planned and for Renault five billion euro ($5.4bn), Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced. He said the package was needed to save Air France amid an unprecedented industry crisis but warned the money would come with strings attached, with the airline notably having to improve its environmental credentials.

Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra announced the government plans to support KLM with an aid package worth between two to four billion euros. "We are currently working out the exact form and details," the finance minister said.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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