December 17, 2020 | aviation

Finland plans to help Finnair with $486 million loan

The Finnish government said the COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave had led to a slower than expected recovery in air traffic


Finland is preparing to support national carrier Finnair with an unsecured hybrid loan of up to $486 million, the company said on Wednesday.
The Finnish government said the COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave had led to a slower than expected recovery in air traffic, resulting in heavy losses for Finnair as it operates at around 10 percent of normal capacity.
“The state is committed to acting as a responsible anchor owner for Finnair,” Tytti Tuppurainen, the minister in charge of state ownership policies, said in a statement.
“Finland’s geographic location is challenging and therefore we will not manage without functioning air connections.”
Finland has kept some of Europe’s strictest travel restrictions in place throughout the pandemic.
The hybrid loan will not impose additional costs on the state budget, the government said, adding that $486 million is still available from a $850.5 million allocation Finland’s parliament approved in May.
Finnair said the latest financing arrangement is subject to confirmation of the terms and conditions of the loan and final government and European Commission approval.
The Finnish state, which holds a 55.9 percent stake in the airline, has also supported Finnair by participating in a share issue and by granting a 90 percent guarantee for its pension loan.

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