Air France-KLM Looks to SLBs to Repay State Aid

Air France-KLM plans to offer €300 million of sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs) to investors, with the proceeds used to repay part of a senior bank loan owed to the French government. The state aid package the airline is repaying, due to economic fallout from the pandemic, consists of €4 billion of bank loans guaranteed by France and €3 billion French state loan, according to the company’s public debt profile. The airline presented its sustainability-linked financing framework to investors on Wednesday, with SLBs seeing tenfold growth between 2020-21. However, SLBs have previously been criticised for having weak targets and minor penalties, with the wider ESG bond market being subject to heightened scrutiny on how much meaningful impact it has had on tackling climate change. Air France-KLM has a sustainability plan that includes a reduction of direct and indirect emissions, and the airline intends to renew its fleet and use sustainable aviation fuels to meet its targets.  

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