The European Union (EU) has approved $4.7 billion in state aid for Air France as it struggles through the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager said the public support will come with “strings attached.”
“France will contribute up to €4 billion to reinforce Air France’s equity and help the airline face financial difficulties resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, the public support will come with strings attached, in particular, to ensure the French state is sufficiently remunerated, and further measures to limit distortions of competition,” she added.
In return for the assistance, the carrier has promised to make 18 slots available per day to competitors at the busy Orly airport in Paris, the second-largest airport after Charles de Gaulle.
“This is good news for Air France and good news for the French,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on a local radio interview.
Le Maire also said that the EU allowed the French state to increase its stake in the national carrier from 14.9 percent to 30 percent.
Air France revealed that there has been an $8.4 billion loss in 2020 in its business as the world suffered from COVID-19 restrictions.