Romania asks EUR 130 mln from EU for its two airlines
The Romanian authorities started talks with the European Commission to get financial support worth about EUR 130 million for the country's two airlines, state-owned Tarom and privately-held Blue Air, transport minister Lucian Bode said at Realitatea TV, G4media.ro reported.
Both companies have been heavily impacted by the new coronavirus pandemic, as most of their flights have been gradually suspended.
Both companies were seeking financing even before the coronavirus pandemic, although Blue Air was in a visibly better position after breaking even last year while Tarom was in acute need for a rescue loan.
“We are talking about EUR 65 million for each company, so EUR 130 million would be needed to save the two companies. We have sent a note to the Competition Council,” said minister Bode.
The situation of Tarom was a difficult one even before the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European Commission had agreed, in February, that the Romanian state would grant Tarom a temporary loan worth about EUR 36.7 mln. The loan was supposed to be repaid in 6 months, or Tarom would either submit a liquidation plan or carry out a comprehensive restructuring in order to become viable in the long term. Such possible restructuring would be subject to the Commission's assessment and approval.
Separately, Blue Air applied for a rescue loan from the Government - but only after the coronavirus breakout when both airlines suspended passenger flights. Both airlines are currently operating only freight transport mostly carrying sanitary equipment.