Lufthansa board nods through $10 billion bailout plan

Business

Aircrafts of the German airline Lufthansa are parked at the airport in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Germany on Monday approved a 9 billion-euro ($9.8 billion) aid package for stricken airline Lufthansa to keep a major employer going through the turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

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BERLIN (AP) — The supervisory board of Lufthansa has given its blessing to a 9 billion-euro ($10 billion) government bailout plan thrashed out between the airline, the German government and the European Union.

In a statement Monday, the German carrier quoted Lufthansa Chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley saying it had been “a very difficult decision.”

“We recommend that our shareholders follow this path, even if it requires them to make substantial contributions to stabilizing their company,” said Kley. “It must be clearly stated, however, that Lufthansa is facing a very difficult road ahead.”

Lufthansa, which has been hard-hit by the downturn in travel during the coronavirus pandemic, will be required to relinquish some of its slots in Frankfurt and Munich to competitors.

A German government stabilization fund will receive a 20% stake in the airline.

Environmental campaigners have criticized the government, saying it had not pressed for tougher emissions reduction targets as part of the bailout plan.

Lufthansa’s current shareholders and the European Commission need to provide final approval for the plan.

The airline will hold an extraordinary general meeting on June 25.

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