The German government and Deutsche Lufthansa AG said Monday they have agreed on a €9 billion euro ($9.81 billion) bailout deal—one of the biggest aid packages by a single country hatched so far in the coronavirus pandemic-hit air travel sector.
The deal, widely expected and weeks in the making, comes after the world’s largest airlines have grounded a majority of their flights as most borders remain closed to contain the novel coronavirus. Airlines are furloughing or laying off tens of thousands of staff and negotiating bailouts with their governments.
“This is an important step as it’s about more than 100,000 jobs, about preserving Germany’s leading position in global civil aviation and about making sure that a healthy and tradition-rich company that got into trouble because of the coronavirus pandemic can exist also in the future,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said Monday.
Under the deal—which still needs approval from Lufthansa’s boards, shareholders and the European Commission—the German government will take a 20% stake in the company and appoint two supervisory board seats.