The Corona crisis has a firm grip on Europe's economy, and hardly any industry is unaffected by it. Airlines are a frequent topic of discussion, as they open up European passenger traffic. While low-cost airlines are already under massive pressure, more upscale carriers are able to stay halfway afloat.
Due to the loss of passengers, however, almost all airlines are struggling for survival. Every European country is trying to deal with state aid, nationalization or planned insolvency in its own way. The fact is that the airlines will not be able to get by with the current situation for much longer. Conversely, they cannot be dispensed with.
- While Switzerland has already guaranteed loans for its airlines, negotiations are still ongoing in Austria. When it comes to Austrian Airlines, however, it's a tough call, since it belongs to Germany's Lufthansa.
- Political success thus also depends on the German negotiations with Lufthansa. In Austria, opinions are now divided.
A few days ago, Magnus Brunner, State Secretary for Climate Protection and Mobility, had not ruled out sending AUA into managed insolvency. Even if AUA is an important economic factor, its rescue should not cost "whatever it takes".
Currently on the ground: Austrian Airlines
In concrete terms, AUA generated 767 million. Euro in state aid requested. In addition, the airline 1.wants to cut 100 jobs and reduce salaries.
Time and again, in line with state aid, a location guarantee is also demanded by domestic politicians. However, for geographical reasons alone, the federal states are pursuing different goals. While AUA is considered indispensable for Vienna and Lower Austria, the airport in Munich is in a much better position for Tyrol and Salzburg.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz keeps a very low profile on the issue. It simply refers to ongoing negotiations with the parent company, Lufthansa. "The goals have not changed," Kurz said. In addition to guaranteeing the location, the interests of the employees must also be safeguarded.
In the meantime, the head of Vienna International Airport, Gunther Ofner, has also spoken out. Naturally, Vienna International Airport is concerned about the current situation of Austrian Airlines, as the airline is the airport's largest customer. The question arises as to who could replace Austria's most important hub in the event of insolvency.
Besides, thousands of airport jobs are also up in the air from an AUA insolvency. So he is clearly in favor of a state rescue and would like to couple this with a blocking minority. "It is an extraordinary situation that requires extraordinary steps," says Ofner.
Until the 18.5. the AUA has time in any case, then the business plan must stand. Further developments are eagerly awaited.