The European Commission on Monday cleared the French government’s €7 billion rescue package for Air France, an effort to keep the company afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
The package is a mixture of loan guarantees and direct loans “to obtain vital liquidity to face this difficult period, before an expected recovery in sales once the restrictions are lifted progressively,” the Commission said in a statement.
Air France is a huge contributor to the French economy, responsible for 350,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to the French government. Like most European airlines, Air France grounded almost all of its 300-strong fleet as the coronavirus spread across the Continent, operating only repatriation and cargo flights.
The French government required the airline to curb its emissions as a condition for the rescue.
“Good,” said EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager, but she said it wasn’t required from Brussels. “Member States are free to design measures in line with their policy objectives and EU rules.”