Taiwan rolls out bailout plan for airline industry amid coronavirus crisis

No limit on loans for country’s six major airlines

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(Facebook, EVA Air photo)

(Facebook, EVA Air photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government of Taiwan is expected to flesh out a bailout plan by the end of the week to help the aviation industry weather the coronavirus outbreak.

Chunghwa Post Co, which provides banking services, as well as the country’s public and private banks, will provide funds for carriers suffering from financial woes as a result of the Wuhan virus, reported Liberty Times. The health scare has led to large-scale flight cancellations around the globe.

The Cabinet on Wednesday (March 18) removed the NT$30 billion (US$985 million) cap on pledged funds. There will now be no limit on the amount of loans to airlines, but each loan will be reviewed before it is granted.

The companies eligible to apply for the fund include China Airlines, EVA Air, Mandarin Airlines, Uni Air, Tigerair Taiwan, and StarLux Airlines.

According to an estimate by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on March 8, the world's airlines are expected to suffer a total loss of US$113 billion due to COVID-19. The trade association has said at least US$200 billion in government aid is needed to prop up air carriers amid the pandemic, reported Business Traveller.