Iceland might consider taking stake in Icelandair if the state injects funds, says prime minister

Icelandair said last week it would cut some 2,000 jobs as the coronavirus pandemic has halted most commercial flights.

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Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir attends a press conference in Oslo, Norway February 3, 2020. (Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB Scanpix File Photo via Reuters)

Iceland may consider taking a stake in Icelandair Group if the government injects funds into the airline, Bloomberg reported, citing comments by Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir to a local radio station.

“If there will be specific support, we need to weigh if it is natural that the state gets a share in it (Icelandair Group) or if the state’s interest is better guarded with another solution,” Jakobsdottir was quoted as saying in the report.

Airlines have been among the companies worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with global travel coming to a near-halt.

Icelandair, now flying less than 10 percent of scheduled flights, said last week it would cut 2,000 jobs across its entire operation to stop the outflow of cash primarily going to salaries.

The prime minister’s office and Icelandair did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru.