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Airlines seek state loan guarantees

By EMMIE V. ABADILLA

The umbrella organization of local airlines, the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) seeks aid for the aviation sector in the form of government loans, credit lines and guarantees on debt rather than direct cash subsidies.

The ACAP, which includes Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia Philippines and their affiliates, recently got together with senators to discuss their financial support requirements once the government ends lockdown.

“Airlines are typically one of the first key indicators of a recovery post any downturn in travel or crisis. These are unprecedented and extraordinary times,” stressed AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla, who currently sits as Chairman of ACAP.

“Governments around the world are already providing a much needed lifeline to assist the air travel industry to stimulate the economy,” he pointed out.

“The government is in the position to bring confidence to banks and businesses to lend support to airlines. We ask the government to intervene now rather than later to jumpstart air travel,” added ACAP Executive Director and Vice Chairperson Roberto Lim.

“We support the government in ensuring cash subsidies are allocated to sectors that need it the most. What airlines require are credit guarantees and loans, which will be repaid. Airlines will need time and forbearance to once again generate revenue,” he reiterated.

ACAP also seeks the waiver of airport fees for at least a year without interest or penalties; issuance of travel vouchers in lieu of refunds for cancelled flights; and the centralization of government guidelines for the aviation sector that include local governments.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/05/15/airlines-seek-state-loan-guarantees/)

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