American Airlines expected to receive $12 billion in aid

In order to deal with the crisis in the aviation sector, it would appear that an interventionist policy is the order of the day.

The situation in the world

For the time being, the American airlines are the best off. The plan to support the American economy that has been voted on would guarantee them an envelope of $50 billion. On the one hand, $25 billion directly for the payment of pensions and salaries, and on the other hand, loan guarantees to the tune of $25 billion.

But this aid will be paid on several conditions. In particular, the American airlines will not be able to put in place redundancy plans by the end of September. They will also have to maintain their regional routes for the next two years.

The two main companies concerned in the United States would be American Airlines and Delta Airlines. They are expected to receive, respectively and including loan guarantees, $12 billion and $11 billion. These are phenomenal amounts, which should enable them to survive during the crisis and to seize opportunities once it has passed.

But the U.S. government is not the only one coming to the rescue of its companies.

On the Asian side, Singapore Airlines has obtained authorisation from its majority shareholder, the Temasek fund, to open up its capital to the tune of 15 billion Singapore dollars (the equivalent of 9.6 billion euros). The company can thus issue 3.4 billion euros in new shares and 6.2 billion euros in convertible bonds. In addition, a loan of €2.5 billion is expected to be added to the opening of the airline's capital.

Closer to home, in the Middle East, the Emir of Dubai announced that he would come to the aid of the Emirates airline. This aid should take the form of a capital injection.

Government interventions in Europe

In Europe, interventionism was illustrated in a strong way with the renationalisation of the Alitalia company. A decision that will perhaps not be isolated, as discussions have been initiated between the management of Brussels Airlines and the Belgian government.

Otherwise, almost all the major airlines are in discussions with their respective States about possible aid to help them get through the crisis.

Thus, Air France-KLM is expected to receive EUR 6 billion in aid. This aid will be in addition to the short-time working measures which have enabled them to reduce their wage costs by 80%, as well as the deferrals of taxes and charges for the period March to December. The aid will be implemented jointly by the French and Dutch governments. For its part, the French State should guarantee 4 billion of the 6 mentioned.

In the medium term, several decisions are envisaged for the group. In particular, a solution similar to that of Singapore Airlines, consisting of an opening up of the capital through the issue of new shares and convertible bonds.

But for the time being, negotiations remain open.