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Dutch minister: Survival of KLM-Air France ‘not a given’

The survival of the Air France-KLM group is not guaranteed if the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues, Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra warns.

France and the Netherlands, each with a 14 percent share of the group, have poured out billions of euros in aid to help national carriers that virtually came to a standstill in the first half of 2020.

“It’s not a given,” Hoekstra says in an interview with Dutch public television NPO, stressing the need to cut costs.

In the spring, Paris gave Air France seven billion euros ($8.3 billion) in loans, and The Hague granted KLM similar aid worth 3.4 billion euros.

The bailout for KLM must be accompanied by “a comprehensive restructuring plan” as well as commitments to reestablish performance and competitiveness.

Hoekstra says he had insisted in talks with KLM on the importance of changing direction.

Dutch press agency ANP said KLM has to develop a restructuring plan by October 1.

AFP

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