Smartwings airline asking for CZK 2 billion rescue loan

The Czech low-cost airline Smartwings needs either a loan or a commercial guarantee of CZK 1.7-2 billion from the state within the next few weeks in order to survive, Smartwings Chairman of the Board Jiří Šimáně told the daily Mf Dnes in an interview published on Thursday. He also warned that if a second wave of the pandemic were to arrive Smartwings would need further support.

The company has already stated it does not want the state to purchase a stake in the company. The rescue loan money could be spent on aircraft payments, employee salaries and other necessities, Mr Šimáně told Mf Dnes.

As many other airlines, Smartwings has been feeling the weight of the coronavirus impact on international air travel and is in danger of bankruptcy. The idea of bailing out Smartwings was floated by the government last month, but was met with mixed opinions among the public.

Author: Tom McEnchroe