The impact of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis on the entire airline sector, and consequently KLM, is unprecedented. Since the start of this crisis, numerous steps have been taken to tackle the situation head on and to preserve cash. On 9 April, Air France-KLM made it known that it would require additional liquidity in the third quarter of 2020.
Intensive talks have been taking place between the different parties, including between Air France-KLM and the French government, and between the Dutch government and the KLM Group. This evening, the Air France-KLM Group and the French government announced that specific agreements have been reached regarding state aid for Air France-KLM. These agreements are still subject to approval from the European Commission. KLM is naturally delighted with this development, which is explained in more detail in the Air France-KLM press release.
The scale of the public interest in the route network KLM operates from Schiphol, last year led the Dutch government to acquire a 14% share in Air France-KLM. In the face of the Covid-19 crisis, the Dutch government has once more voiced its support for the KLM Group. The Dutch government and KLM are still discussing the details of the aid package and the conditions that will be attached. Dutch government ministers Hoekstra and Van Nieuwenhuizen explained the government’s intentions at a press conference this evening. The aid package will come in the form of state guarantees and loans amounting to between two and four billion euros.
“ On behalf of all KLM’s employees, I would like to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for this strong and significant support from the Dutch government. KLM’s 30,000 highly committed employees want to continue to play an important role in Dutch society in the future too, connecting the Netherlands to the world and the world to the Netherlands. The ministers highlighted KLM’s position as a major employer and its vital importance to the Dutch economy. KLM intends to lead the field in its ambitions and to play a pioneering role in sustainability. Air France and KLM are currently weathering a storm of unparalleled magnitude. The Dutch government has responded with aid on an equally unprecedented scale. The Netherlands can be assured of our total commitment to living up to the trust that has been placed in our company." – Pieter Elbers - KLM President & CEO