The airline Air Europa has reached an agreement with the unions to apply a temporary employment regulation file (ERTE) that will affect 4,000 workers, according to union sources. The ERTE, for economic, technical, organizational or production reasons, will be launched on April 1 and will affect cabin crew and ground staff, but not pilots, with whose representation the company has not reached an agreement.
The company operates right now with practically half of its fleet, one of the reasons why it justifies the ERTE, which will have levels of disaffection (workers who leave that scheme and join the activity) of between 70% and 90%. At the moment, the airline already has an ERTE due to force majeure as a result of the pandemic, a figure that the Government launched after the arrival of the covid in Spain and that disappears in April. This has meant that many firms that had taken advantage of this mechanism have been negotiating the extension of these exceptional measures through an ERTE for economic reasons, one of those that are still in force.
Air Europa has been one of the companies most affected by the pandemic, with losses totaling almost 700 million in the last two years, and is currently immersed in negotiations about its future, in which a possible alliance with Iberia is being considered. International Airlines Group (IAG, the parent company of Iberia and British Airways, among other companies) and Globalia (the transport and tourism group that owns Air Europa) had reached an agreement for the former to take over the airline for 1,000 million. But the coronavirus arrived and everything was left on wet paper. In the latest agreement between the two firms, IAG grants an unsecured loan of 100 million euros over seven years with the option of converting it into a stake of up to 20% in the capital of Air Europa, which means valuing the company at 500 million, which is the amount offered by the pandemic and on which no agreement was reached.
The new agreement provides for a one-year period of exclusivity while talks take place and is accompanied by a right to match any third-party offer by the airline in the next three years, as well as a right of exit if it is a competitor. of IAG who buys Air Europa. But the operation is conditional on Globalia, which requested a public rescue for Air Europa during the pandemic, receiving the approval of the syndicated banks that facilitated the loan contract partially guaranteed by the Official Credit Institute (ICO) and the State Company of Industrial Holdings (SEPI).
The Spanish Government injected 615 million euros into the airline through a loan guaranteed by the ICO for an amount of 140 million and a rescue of 475 million authorized by SEPI. In principle, Globalia does not have to repay the SEPI aid until 2026 (if it does not, the State could take a majority stake in the airline). But you have to clear your situation before next July 1, which is when the moratorium expires on companies that present a negative equity, which is cause for dissolution.
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