KLM virus bailout to go to court in November: Greenpeace

le 08/10/2020 , Compagnies aériennes régulières

KLM could have its wings clipped after Greenpeace said Wednesday a court would hear its lawsuit next month against the government's multi-billion-euro bailout package for the Dutch airline.

The Netherlands in June said it would give the beleaguered national carrier 3.4 billion euros in aid as governments around the world stepped up to help airlines which have suffered from travel restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

But Greenpeace has opposed the bailout because it said KLM is operating without a solid climate action plan and the Dutch government's aviation policy is inadequate.

After the government rebuffed calls to tighten conditions on the bailout package, Greenpeace went forward with the lawsuit and said the case is set to be heard on November 18.

"The 'green conditions' that the government has set for state aid for KLM are flimsy and nothing but window-dressing," said Dewi Zloch, a climate and energy expert at Greenpeace Netherlands.

KLM's aid package consists of a guarantee for bank loans of up to 2.4 billion euros and a direct loan from the state of up to one billion euros.

The airline said previously the government loan was linked to "commitments to sustainable development" but it did not give further details.

Greenpeace in particular wants government to introduce a CO2 emissions ceiling for KLM which should then be reduced every year.

The Dutch Supreme Court ordered the state last year to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent of 1990 levels by the end of 2020, in a landmark case brought by environmental organisation Urgenda.


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