The airline serving Reunion is particularly affected by the health crisis.
A new oxygen balloon for Air Austral. The French airline, in great difficulty due to the health crisis, announced, Wednesday, that it had obtained the green light from the European Commission to aid the country, amounting to 20 million euros.
“This support from the French state for Air Austral, which is in the top 5 of the largest local private employers in Reunion Island and whose strategic role in serving the region is indisputable, should allow it to secure its cash flow and prepare for the future,” the company explains.
This government assistance complements the support previously given to the company by La Région Réunion, in the form of loans to shareholders. And opens the site to restructure the company to ensure “the long-term continuity of its activity and the sustainability of its functions.”
No merging with a pirate
“This is the first step in a work that has been going on for several months, but how encouraging that this allows us to approach a crucial year 2022 for us,” commented Marie-Joseph Malley, Chairman and CEO of Air Austral.
Remember that the French company specializing in connections to and from Reunion Island saw its sales collapse by 55% between 2020 and 2021 and was looking for fresh money despite the PGE and direct loan for a total of 100 million euros.
The merger with Corsair was mentioned but ultimately not implemented. Air Caraïbes also recently proposed a partnership with Air Austral.
“We are not necessarily looking to take over Air Austral, which has its true Réunion legitimacy: we must keep and preserve it, or even include it in the Reunionese landscape, as Marc Rocher, President of Air Caraïbes identifies. Rationally, let’s compare costs and limitations. Perhaps there are solutions that can be found, especially in terms of business cooperation.”
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