Austria minister wants airline aid tied to climate protection
Vienna: Any government aid to help Austrian Airlines get through the coronavirus crisis should be conditional on the carrier improving climate protection, Austria's environment minister said.
"When we take several hundred million (euros) into our hands, then this money has to be tied to conditions. It's taxpayers' money, and the taxpayer should benefit when the business is doing better again," said Leonore Gewessler, whose Green party is a junior partner in Austria's coalition government. "And when it is a sector severely tested by the climate crisis, it will be about setting out conditions that will advance climate protection," she added in the interview with the Kurier daily. Expert suggestions included slashing short distance flights and using alternative fuels, she said.
The Greens formed a coalition government with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's conservatives in January, promising to invest massively in climate protection. A subsidiary of the German giant Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines has grounded its planes until May 17 due to the collapse of air travel caused by the new coronavirus pandemic. - AFP