Spain ignores the airlines while their european partners to the rescue with 20,000 million

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Enrique SerbetoSEGUIRGuillermo GinésSEGUIRMadrid Updated: Save Send news by mail electrónicoTu name *

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The owner of Transport, is José Luis Ábalos , held yesterday in Brussels the first meeting in person of a minister for the community with the commissioner of Transportation, the Romanian Adina Valean . The idea of this meeting was that of the own Ábalos, that he wanted clarification from the Commission on the limits of the european legislation in the actions you have undertaken to treat of save the viability of the airline that operate in Spain, with a second plan of aid.

To his departure, the minister did not clarify anything about that package, nor on what the next steps will be from the aeronautical industry in this complex landscape, despite the fact that in the Spanish case, it has to reconcile on the one hand the aid to Iberia with the project of purchase of Air Europe by this same company . Also about the formulas legal to be used to ensure that the former flag carrier Spanish can continue operating in the european internal market despite the Brexit. Everything is connected, and the minister has made it clear that wants to do things without generating the slightest doubt on the respect for community standards, probably so as not to contaminate the negotiations on the recovery plan and create doubts in the countries most reluctant.

The minister even said clearly that the State has sufficient capacity to respond to the needs of liquidity that we have described the airlines most affected by the crisis and that it has “daily contacts”. All at least mention the word “rescue”. “What will the State do is try to ensure and keep these companies that characterize strategic, but there’s no rescue because there we are considering a rescue,” and “we hope we won’t get to that.”

The words of Ábalos occur in a context is a determinant for the aviation sector. While the minister ask for advice to the European Commission about the formula to articulate these subsidies, the bailouts are played in the Old Continent. Germany has injected 9,000 million on Lufthansa, Italy has awarded 3,000 million to Alitalia, Portugal is trying to bring forward an aid valued at 1,200 million to TAP. Finland has provided 700 million to Finnair, the Norwegian government has awarded 300 million in the Norwegian… and the Air France-KLM group has obtained two credit lines: one from France (7,000 million) and another from the Netherlands (3,400 billion). In total, about 20,000 million in aid to a sector that has been hit hard by the crisis of the coronavirus.

Spain, however, has been limited to providing a reduction of the rates of take-offs and a suspension of airport charges . A few incentives that, according to explain from the airline industry, “have a trick” because the reduction of the rate by take-off is conditional on certain activity levels, and airport charges have to be paid six months after your suspension. is The airlines take months lobbying the government to obtain a line of endorsements specific would ensure the survival of the sector. According to the latest estimate of the employer of the aviation sector, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airline industry lost more than 75,000 million euros this year. And the demand for flights will not recover to the levels pre-crisis until 2023.

Government’s plan

The Ministry of Transport has amagado on several occasions to offer more stimuli. The last time was last week, when Abalos acknowledged publicly that guarantees ICO had been “insufficient,” for the airline industry -which has arranged lines of credit backed by the State by value of 1.700 million euros – and that the Executive was preparing new incentives.

The announcement came as a surprise to the sector’s employers ‘ organisation, the Association of Airlines (ALA), which acknowledged in a press release not be aware of this new aid package s. For the moment, the Ministry of Economy also has no evidence that it will boost a specific support plan.

The airlines had hoped that Abalos set down some more of this plan yesterday at the meeting in Brussels. After hearing the statements of the minister, consider that Spain has taken a new step to the back and “return to the box departure” . During the worst months of the crisis of the coronavirus, when the international flights fell by 95% and the sector was reduced to the transport of goods and the repatriation of domestic passengers , the Government fiaba around stimulus plan to a coordinated action from Brussels.

The claims of the airlines seemed to have motivated the Government to carry out a plan of action similar to those posed to the tourism sector and the automotive . But after the statements yesterday by the minister of Transport, in the aviation industry to re-give for fact that will not receive direct aid in the short term.

Airlines like Iberia and Ryanair have denounced the fact that the granting of public aid is so heterogeneous, that in his opinion, careful against the european single market . The irish company has threatened to even take the court with all these aids, that have counted with the approval of the European Commission. Sources in the sector believe that these bailouts will allow “to save a company that was already in serious financial trouble prior to the crisis” and that probably would not have survived a normal situation of competition, without a global pandemic of by means.

half-hearted

yesterday was the day chosen by several air groups to reactivate part of its international flights, taking advantage of the European Union has softened its restrictions in the sector. The forecasts for this campaign of summer are still very cautious, despite the fact that a good number of companies have thrown the prices for try to encourage demand . Ryanair, for example, believes that its traffic will sink a 50% during these months.

it Is only a foretaste of what is waiting for him to aviation, which is going through the worst crisis in its history. Companies of the likes of Iberia have already warned that the s were much smaller during the next five years and will considerably reduce both its fleet of aircraft as the destinations to which they fly.