Miami – Britain’s easyJet (U2) has not formally requested government funding from Germany. According to Yahoo! Finance, U2 is responding to a report in business magazine Wirtschaftswoche that said that the airline was in talks with Berlin about receiving state aid.
“No formal request for funding (has) been made,” a U2 spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. She added that the company was in regular contact with governments where it operates regarding available support measures during the COVID-19 crisis. “We continue to talk to all of these governments on an ongoing basis.”
CEO Is Open to Aid
UK media reports in October said that U2 had told the British government that it may need financial support. And its CEO, Johan Peter Lundgren, told Reuters last week that he was open to offers of help.
“I am not against state aid,” CEO Johan Lundgren said on October 31 during a visit to Berlin to attend the opening of the city’s new airport. “It is very clear that you can’t expect the industry and its players to cope with the crisis all by themselves.”
Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche quoted Lundgren as saying talks with Germany over state aid were “proceeding constructively.” Even before England, France, and Germany recently announced new lockdowns, easyJet was considering options to bolster its finances as a second wave of the pandemic again brought travel to a halt.
To try to survive COVID-19, U2 has so far raised over £900bn (US$1.179bn) from the sale and leaseback of aircraft, taken a £600m (US$786m) loan from the British government, cut 4,500 jobs, and tapped shareholders for £419m (US$549m).
Featured image: Marco Macca/Airways