Struggling airlines tap up Bank of England £2bn in loans

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Struggling airlines tap up Bank of England for almost £2bn in emergency state-backed loans as they try to weather coronavirus crisis

Struggling airlines have tapped up the Bank of England for almost £2billion in emergency state-backed loans as they try to weather the coronavirus crisis. 

Airlines have already furloughed tens of thousands of workers, meaning the taxpayer is paying millions of pounds of wages to under the Job Retention Scheme. 

But figures published by the Bank of England yesterday showed they have also made full use of its Covid Corporate Financing Facility – an ultra-cheap scheme for large firms announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak back in March. 

The sky’s the limit: Airlines have already furloughed tens of thousands of workers, meaning the taxpayer is paying millions of pounds of wages to under the Job Retention Scheme

Ryanair and Easyjet have secured loans of £600m each, with British Airways owner IAG and Wizz Air both accessing £300m. 

British Airways has already come under fire from MPs and union leaders for furloughing 23,000 workers shortly before announcing plans to cut 12,000 jobs. 

The Bank of England said 53 businesses had received loans under the scheme, which is only available to firms that had top-notch investment grade credit ratings before the coronavirus crisis hit. 

In total, £16.2billion has been lent out under the scheme so far, but a staggering £67.7billion has been approved for 152 firms that have applied successfully. They can draw on this money if they need to. 

One of the biggest beneficiaries is Nissan. The Japanese car maker tapped up the Bank of England for £600m. 

The biggest single loan, for £1billion, has gone to BASF, the world’s largest chemicals producer. 

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club has also borrowed £175m.

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