Massive New Bailout Of Air France, Including Funds From China

Last year Air France KLM received $12.3 billion in government aid. Now the government of France will provide a new $4.7 billion in support, while the Dutch government is in talks with European regulators over an additional $1.18 billion.

In exchange for this new support Air France has to give up slots for 9 daily roundtrips at Paris-Orly airport.

The new aid to Air France is “a state-backed recapitalization,” converting loans from the government into “bonds with no maturity” along with additional capital through the issuance of new shares.

  • This can take the French government’s stake in the airline up from 14.3% to 30%. France is already the largest shareholder in the airline.

  • Chinese state-backed China Eastern “will also participate,” giving that country additional sway.

France’s finance minister justifies the re-nationalizes of the carrier because it is “too big to fail.” Air France was partially privatized in 1999.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. @Alan your generation of Americans should foot the bill for all damages related to the environmental destruction you’ve caused and the sh*t world you’ve left for the rest of us. You can start by paying back your portion of the $25 trillion pre-COVID national debt you stiffed future Americans with to cover your lousy personal health and addiction to foreign wars. Your portion is about $75,000. Checks can be made payable to the United States Treasury.

  2. If Air France was a US airline they could have gotten the dough and given up almost no stake to the US govt or any to China. Bummer

  3. @Gary: This is a subsidy. A susbsidy of an utterly irrelevant corporation. The fact that it will go through with minimal EU opposition gives the lie to the EU’s claims of being a promoter of competition vs. state interests.

    Another benefit of Brexit — not paying (as much) for this.

  4. @Gary – Any thoughts on how the KLM side will react to France owning a bigger chunk of the airline? The Dutch have acted twitchy before over not having much control of the airline.

  5. Well, it is not my money. And this means it will hopefully still be flying when international travel resumes. It always was my favorite international business class just for the F&B and lounges (including the only arrivals lounge at CDG), even when it still had the slanted seats. Fond memories of the A380.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.