French national flag carrier Air France will be forced to give up slots at Paris Orly Airport if it wants to receive more financial aid from the French government. Over the weekend, the French government announced that it had reached an agreement with the European Commission to inject more cash into the struggling airline.
The French government and the European Union’s agreement comes after weeks of negotiations to ensure that State aid does not give companies an unfair advantage. On Sunday, April 4, while speaking on the RTL/LCI/Le Figaro political broadcast “Le Grand Jury,” France 24 quoted French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire as saying,
“We have an outline agreement with European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager about new financial aid for Air France.”
When asked how much State aid Air France would receive, the Finance Minister dodged the question saying that discussions were still ongoing with the airline. When asked about the deal struck with the European Commission, Le Marie described it as being “Very good news for Air France and the whole French aviation sector,” adding that negotiations had been “tough.” When questioned about how many slots Air France would have to give up at Orly, Le Marie would not give an exact figure, but said it was less than the 24 the Commission had wanted.