Corona bailout billions for Air France-KLM

The Netherlands and France have announced that they will provide billions in aid for the airline holding Air France-KLM to get it through the coronavirus crisis. Both countries hold a stake in the company. Dutch commentators voice dismay.

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De Volkskrant (NL) /

No blank check for KLM

The Dutch government must disclose what goal it is pursuing with the bailout, demands De Volkskrant:

“Both countries are attaching their own conditions to the state aid, which fuels the already latent mutual distrust and drives both partners further apart. Where will this end? ... What if KLM airplanes are only allowed to carry half the passengers in future because of the danger of infection? Is the nationalisation the last resort? ... Does this spell the end for the merger with AirFrance? The responsible ministers must make it clear where this is heading. This is the only way to counter the impression that the cabinet has written a blank cheque.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Do they really deserve our tax money?

Writing in NRC Handelsblad columnist Menno Tamminga is outraged by the fact that the bonus increase for company boss Ben Smith was only cancelled under pressure:

“What is so disturbing is the idea that a boss should earn a bonus just because he fulfils his main task. That task is to ensure the continuity of the company. ... What an unusual approach to work: first pay the bonus, then put out the fire? Instead of first extinguishing the fire and then distributing the bonus? Because that shouldn't be done until later, once it's clear that there is still something left to distribute. How high is the quality of the decisions made by this management? ... Are they actually worth 'our' money?”