From Iceland — Icelandair Considering Broader Government Assistance

Icelandair Considering Broader Government Assistance

Published April 30, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
OhanaUnited/Wikimedia Commons

Bogi Nils Bogason, the director of Icelandair, told RÚV that while he wasn’t especially thrilled about the government getting too involved with the affairs of the airline, he does not rule out the possibility that the state may need to provide some government assistance.

As reported, Icelandair has been experiencing considerable financial troubles, and have recently had to layoff about 95% of their workforce. This has prompted increased discussion, both within the public discourse and in Parliament, of the government getting further involved in helping the company stay afloat until the global coronavirus pandemic ends.

At the moment, however, Bogi says the airline is hoping to find market solutions. This involves revenue from shares, both in the Icelandic and possibly on the foreign market, and that it is possible the government could match the funds raised in the form of a loan. He emphasised that this is still an unofficial idea; talks are ongoing, but no definitive deal or intention of a deal has been struck.

At the same time, he does not rule out the possibility of broader help from the Icelandic government.

“We’ve seen this all around us, both in Europe and North America, that governments are helping airlines get through this,” he said. “Airlines aren’t going to get through this without help. That’s just the way it is, and if it continues going for a long time, through the summer or longer, then [such assistance] will enter the picture.”

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