Lufthansa aid after initial rescue package must incorporate climate action – env min
Clean Energy Wire / dpa / Reuters
A 9 to 10 billion-euro rescue package may be on its way to German airline Lufthansa, government sources told news agency dpa. After mass flight cancellations, Lufthansa said on 23 April that it would no longer be able to survive the coronavirus crisis by its own efforts. The German state could support Europe's largest air passenger carrier with equity or loans, according to the report. Economy minister Peter Altmaier told public radio Deutschlandfunk there was no decision yet on government support. Environment minister Svenja Schule said during a press conference at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue she would not question a rapid lifeline for Lufthansa, but added that steps towards greenhouse gas neutrality must determine government decisions after securing company survival. Aid for airline Condor has already been granted in the form of a 550 million euro loan, said the economy ministry in a press release.
The aviation sector has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus outbreak. Lufthansa reduced the volume of passenger flights by 80 to 90 percent in mid-March for at least one month. The airline said it would take months until restrictions are lifted to allow a return to regular operation and possibly years before demand for flights reaches pre-crisis levels.