By Holger Hansen, Christoph Steitz and Ilona Wissenbach
BERLIN / FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Lufthansa’s board of directors accepted a more favorable set of demands from the European Commission in return for approving a government bailout package of $ 9 billion (£ 8.13 billion), the airline said on Saturday, paving the way the way for their rescue rescue.
The agreement comes into being after the Lufthansa Supervisory Board rejected an initial contract with Brussels on Wednesday, which contained far more painful conditions.
Lufthansa and the rest of the aviation sector were hit hard by what is likely to be a long-lasting burglary due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the most recent agreement, Lufthansa is obliged to transfer up to 24 take-off and landing places for up to four aircraft to a rival at each of the Frankfurt and Munich airports.
This corresponds to three take-off and three landing rights per aircraft and day, which confirms what sources told Reuters earlier.
“This option has only been available to new competitors at Frankfurt and Munich airports for a year and a half,” said Lufthansa, initially excluding the low-cost airline Ryanair. “If no new competitor makes use of this option, it will be extended to existing competitors at the respective airports.”
The previous deal included the loss of 72 slots used by 12 out of 300 jets at Frankfurt and Munich airports, a source familiar with the matter said.
The slots that are to be allocated as part of a tendering process can only be taken over by a European colleague who has not received any significant state aid in the wake of the pandemic, said Lufthansa.
The group’s board of directors must approve the deal, said Lufthansa, adding that he would call an extraordinary general meeting in the near future to get shareholders’ approval for the rescue package.
In the largest German company rescue since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the government will receive a 20% stake in Lufthansa, which could rise to 25% plus a share in the event of a takeover attempt. A deal would also give the government two seats on Lufthansa’s board of directors.
Competitors such as the French-Dutch Air France-KLM group and the American airlines American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are looking for state aid due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
The federal government, which has set up a € 100 billion fund to invest in companies affected by the pandemic, plans to sell Lufthansa’s stake by the end of 2023.
“The Federal Government, Lufthansa and the European Commission have reached an important intermediate step in the aid negotiations,” said a statement by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Discussions with the Commission on state aid continued.
(Additional reporting by Christian Kraemer; editing by Sabine Wollrab, Sandra Maler, Jonathan Oatis and Will Dunham)