Major airlines are seeking operating subsidies for key routes once coronavirus restrictions are lifted, a leaked lobbying document shows, stoking tensions with some low-cost carriers that are less likely to benefit from the additional funds.
Route subsidies feature on a list of financial support requests circulated among airline members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and seen by Reuters.
Operating subsidies would add to tax breaks, charge deferrals, loan guarantees and other forms of government support given to airlines crippled by an unprecedented near-total shutdown.
But they may also strain industry efforts to present a united front amid growing dissent over aid and its effects on competition. Ryanair’s Lauda unit urged Vienna to withhold financial support from Lufthansa-owned Austrian Airlines.
Aer Lingus and British Airways parent IAG, and Air France-KLM declined to comment on the proposal. Germany’s Lufthansa did not respond to requests for comment.