There is a huge difference between a capital injection and a loan that needs to be repaid.
If LH wants the government to inject capital without issuing them shares, they're essentially asking for a cash grant, helicopter money, a gift, a donation, a blank check, call it what you want.
While there at it, can Germany also send some money to my account? I was a good boy, I promise.
Did the German government shut down your business? Then they should compensate you. It's not like this was LH's mistake. Altmaier is on the record for saying that the government shouldn't interfere in company decisions. Then what about the government decision in March to effectively shut them down for 30 days, then another 30 days, then another 30 days?
Even cash grants come with strings attached, see the US 3 for example or AF/KL. There's still a long road ahead to restoring the passenger volumes projected post-June 15th when things open up again, some kind of compensation for the government interference will be needed.
Well, the internal government bickering between Altmaier and Scholz is done. Anyone's guess what the terms are and whether LH will accept. They still have options.
I have not heard of any planned domestic flight bans in Germany. Some domestic flying has ended on high speed train routes because train rides are more convenient - not because they might be cheaper. They often are not.
Latest rumors are that as we speak the government has sent some representative to Lufthansa's HQ to hand over the final negotiation offer mentioned above. Looks like decision time has come.
The press release stated that it was a compromise between Altmeier and Scholz, presumably mediated by Merkel. Since Altmeier wanted to keep LH as is, and Scholz wanted to cut routes and interfere in business decisions on what routes to fly, it would make sense for the offer to contain route cuts, e.g. fewer German domestic routes, maybe a need for LH to focus on more on FRA for domestic flights in lieu of MUC or the domestic point to point formerly done by Eurowings.
As for the convenience of replacing domestic air routes with train routes, from my experience in Germany it doesn't work too well when connecting to the US due to a lack of German service workers and complicated booking mechanisms. As someone who frequently travels for two kids and 3 suitcases at 70 lbs per person (e.g. 9 for a trip with my kids) it gets complicated, Europe isn't geared towards that. In Newark for example, you can hire someone on the spot, nice when your flight changes for around $5 per suitcase. In Frankfurt, on the other hand, you'll need reservations that need to include the date, time, flight number, train number, train car number, and seat number. God forbid anything changes. €72 later you'll be at the ICE train station. Of course, you'll still someone to unload it at your destination and pay for that as well. By the time you're done and at home, a lot of time could pass.
It's $0 to have your luggage transferred by plane on your connecting flight, seamless to the passenger. You and your fellow travelers can head over to the Senator lounge, enjoy some food and get some rest, while a lot of work is done below deck. Then at your destination, there's a rental car waiting for you, which can be brought directly to the terminal with something like Hertz Platinum, even in Europe. What I'm seeing is a movement to make travel ever harder in Germany, with generous exemptions for politicians, I've seen their motorcade stand in no-parking zones blocking half the terminal many times before. Anyone who want to make things harder for regular citizens should be relegated to the same travel experience.
If SN does go bankrupt and the government nationalizes it, does it mean LH is out for good? They are taking over their shares in the company? Do we know how much longer SN can last without receiving government aid?
LH seems to want to use SN for the type of flying formerly assigned to EW, plus the transcontinental SN legacy routes, especially in Africa. As someone who used to fly the old SN into places like THF and has always enjoyed transfers at BRU, in my view SN's esprit de corps has suffered quite a bit under LH ownership. If I were the Belgian (or the Austrian) government I'd be careful to ensure that any commitments see my former national airline as a good representative of my country. OS coffee service, for example, is great advertising for Vienna coffeehouses. For LX, they have the Taste of Switzerland and the collaboration with the Peninsula in Asia. While SN has the Neuhaus Corner in BRU, there's presently no pendent on board, and charging even for pop reeks of EW, not of a national carrier.
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