BERLIN (Dow Jones) – The federal government may face infringement proceedings because of the billions in the rescue of Lufthansa. Then, in the worst case, the aid money of around 9 billion would have to be repaid, as the Spiegel reported. According to the magazine EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) threatened such a step in a confidential video call last Friday.
From their point of view, the airline violated state aid requirements for state loans. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr and his fellow board members paid interest of around 25 million euros to the creditors of a long-term hybrid bond on February 12 without informing Brussels beforehand.
The commissioner also criticized Lufthansa’s dealings with its competitor Condor: Lufthansa wrongly canceled various feeder flights to the transport hubs in Frankfurt and Munich for its former daughter in June of this year.
According to Spiegel information, the Lufthansa management defended itself in a statement to the federal government. The punctual interest payment was necessary in order not to unsettle the capital markets. The fact that one wants to cancel the Condor feeder flights has nothing to do with the Corona crisis. Rather, they want to get more involved in business with holiday travelers. Alternatively, Condor could offer its own feeder flights or use the train to transport its customers to Frankfurt.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 26, 2021 11:43 ET (15:43 GMT)