Aid for Euro airlines

11 October 2001

PERTH - The European Union has moved to protect struggling European airlines but has stopped short of offering them unconditional financial support.

Airlines will be entitled to compensation for loss of business in America during the four days immediately after the terrorist attacks when US airspace was closed.

Airlines will also be able to extend emergency government-backed insurance packages until the end of December. War-risk premiums for airlines have soared following September 11.

EU transport commissioner Loyola de Palacio has also agreed to waive the "use it or lose it" rule on airports slots for a short period, allowing airlines to dump routes until business is restored.

Following the problems being experienced by Swissair and Sabena, another European airline, Aer Lingus, is seeking help from the Irish government to cover heavy losses.

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