Gide and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP have advised group Air France-KLM on the support mechanism dedicated to Air France that is the subject of an agreement in principle currently being finalised with the French state and banking institutions.
This mechanism includes:
- a loan guaranteed by the French state (Prêt Garanti par l’État, or PGE) amounting to EUR 4 billion and granted by a banking syndicate to Air France-KLM and Air France. 90% of this loan is guaranteed by the French state. It has a maturity of 12 months, with two consecutive one-year extension options exercisable by Air France-KLM; and
- a EUR 3 billion direct loan from the French state to Air France-KLM. This loan will have a maturity of four years, with two consecutive one-year extension options exercisable by Air France-KLM.
This support mechanism, which remains subject to approval by the European Commission, will help Group Air France-KLM to guarantee to Air France the means to carry out its obligations, i.e. continuing its transformation to adapt in a sector that the current global crisis will impact hard.
Group Air France-KLM is an international behemoth with strong European roots, whose main activities are passenger and freight transport, as well as aircraft maintenance. The group posted a turnover of EUR 27.2 billion in 2019 and employs 83,000 people. Its network covers 312 destinations in 116 countries, thanks to Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Transavia. With its fleet of 550 aircraft transporting 104.2 million passengers in 2019, Air France-KLM operates up to 2,300 flights per day.
This operation is, to date, the largest in France as regards the implementation of financial support, PGE financing and state shareholder loan, with a view to face the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Gide team advising Air France-KLM was headed by partner Arnaud Duhamel, working with partners Eric Cartier-Millon and Laurent Vincent on financing aspects, partner Didier Martin on corporate aspects, partner Thomas Courtel on public law aspects, partner Stéphane Hautbourg on competition aspects, alongside counsel Nathalie Benoit, and associates Corinne Rydzynski, Aude-Laurene Dourdain, Alexandre Rennesson, Jérémie Bismuth, Marie-Hélène Gryparis and Louis Ravaud.
HSBC and Natixis also advised Group Air France-KLM.
The APE was advised by firms Allen & Overy and BDGS, and the banking syndicate by White & Case.