Shattered airlines were left counting the cost of government support as countries from the US to New Zealand set out conditions for bailouts needed to absorb the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conditions include provisions that loans might convert to government equity stakes, while US airlines cannot increase executive pay or provide “golden parachutes” for two years.
Air New Zealand’s bailout depends on the company suspending its dividend and paying interest rates of 7 to 9 percent.
New Zealand yesterday offered its national carrier a NZ$900 million (US$522.5 million) lifeline, which New Zealand Minister of Finance Grant Robertson said would help it survive after the government banned all nonresident arrivals to the country.
Under a US$58 billion US proposal for passenger and cargo carriers, the US Department of the Treasury could receive warrants, stock options or stock.
Norway is to back airlines with credit guarantees worth up to 6 billion Norwegian crowns (US$543.2 million), half of them to Norwegian Air Shuttle. Conditions include raising money from commercial banks and the equity market.
Finland, which owns a 56 percent stake in Finnair, said that it would guarantee a 600 million euro (US$644 million) loan for the state carrier.
The International Air Transport Association has forecast that the industry would need up to US$200 billion of state support, piling pressure on governments facing demands from all quarters and a rapid worsening in public finances as economies slump.
“Money is very tight in most countries, so governments need to step back and be hard-nosed about any form of rescue ... but it all must come with strict conditions, or strings, attached,” aviation consultancy Endau Analytics founder Shukor Yusof said in an e-mail.
Even with financial assistance, airlines worldwide are placing thousands of workers on unpaid leave as they slash passenger capacity, deepening the shocks to local economies.
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China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to