Greek airline company AEGEAN on Thursday said the government’s measures for the support of the air transport sector are a “step in the right direction”, although limited compared to other EU countries.
However, in a statement, AEGEAN said that the specific measures concern the whole sector, including airport companies, ground handling service companies and small and large airline companies, “in the same horizontal way”, without special advantages for any of them.
AEGEAN underlined that the main focus of the measures is the employee support mechanism. “The program ensures the partial coverage (60 percent) of the loss of income, in case of reduced employment (Syn-Ergasia program) until 31/12/2020,” the company said, adding that similar programs are already in place across the EU, especially in Northern Europe, providing significantly greater support for payroll costs.
“The measures, therefore, must continue and evolve. It is necessary to extend their validity, until the beginning of the tourist season of 2021,” AEGEAN said.
AEGEAN to strive ‘on its own means’
Highlighting that its goal is to win back its passengers, by following the new health regulations, AEGEAN said it will strive once again based mainly on its own means, its own reserves and the determination of its people.
“What is of utmost important, is to restart. We will adapt across all directions, suppliers, airports and productivity,” the company said.
Regardless of the Greek government’s measures, AEGEAN said it will make use of the “COVID-19 Enterprise Guarantee Fund”, which is accessible to all Greek companies, by submitting distinct loan requests to the 4 Greek banks: Alpha Bank, EUROBANK, National Bank and Piraeus Bank.
According to the horizontal guidelines of the program, the state guarantee is set at 80 percent, for loans lasting up to 5 years and up to 25 percent of the annual turnover.
AEGEAN said it will apply for a total amount of 150 million euros, equal to only 11 percent of its turnover.
“Today, we will continue to act as we did in the past… The 510-million-euros in cash reserves, maintained at the beginning of the crisis together with banks’ support, give us some time to adjust,” the company said.
Following the gradual lifting of the coronavirus travel restrictions, AEGEAN announced that it is increasing the frequency of its domestic network, restoring flights to European destinations, and also reconnecting Thessaloniki with destinations abroad.