Green light to the rescue of the regional airline Air Nostrum. The management council of the rescue fund of the State Industrial Participation Society (SEPI) has approved this Tuesday the granting of a participative loan of 111 million euros for the company. An aid that ensures the survival of a company hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The SEPI has explained that the rescue has been granted after "an exhaustive and rigorous process of analysis of the economic and legal situation of the company", in addition to the viability plan presented by the company. The public holding company also ensures that the company has presented "guarantees" that reflect that it will repay the public loan.
Air Nostrum leads regional air transport in Spain.
Founded in 1994, it has four other lines of business: management support and consultancy services, aircraft maintenance, aeronautical training, and comprehensive crew management and scheduling.
The SEPI has also highlighted that the airline is one of the five most important companies in the Valencian Community and "it also plays an important role in other areas, being a feeder and traffic distribution company" of the Iberia Group in Barajas.
In addition to the air sector, the company is also present in the rail market, as it has created the Iryo brand together with the Italian Trenitalia, with which it will compete in high speed at the end of this year.
In 2019, just before the pandemic, it had a turnover of 539 million euros and a workforce of 1,400 direct and 2,100 indirect positions. But with the arrival of the pandemic, sales fell by 40% in 2020 and the company's EBITDA fell by 82.25 million euros, which generated losses of 144 million euros for the company.
Despite the financial hole caused by the pandemic, the rescue of the airline has been made to beg. Air Nostrum asked SEPI for help more than a year ago, in April 2021. But the granting of the aid was conditioned by the rescue of Plus Ultra, which generated such controversy -in fact it ended up in the courts- that delayed the resolution of proceedings open at that time.
With the granting of aid to the regional airline, the number of bailouts granted by SEPI rises to 22. Despite this, there are still several dozen files that must be resolved shortly, since the bailout fund will be closed on next June 30 by mandate of the European Commission. Among the companies that are still awaiting a verdict is Abengoa, whose directors hint that the company will be liquidated if it does not obtain public aid.