Handelsblatt reports that Federal Tourism Committee requested a report from the federal government on a possible willingness to waive the repayment of aid granted to the tour operator FTI from the state economic stabilization fund.

Ministry of Finance doesn't intend to waive the repayment

Since the meeting was not public, none of the participants wanted to be quoted with any content from it afterwards. As reported by Handelsblatt, the Federal Ministry of Finance informed the members in a report before the start of the session that it did not intend to waive the repayment of stabilization measures. Consequently, the debt relief would not be forthcoming if the reports were confirmed, quoting Anja Karliczek, the tourism policy spokeswoman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.

Certares have tried to cut debt of FTI

It had been rumored in the industry for weeks that Certares had tried to cut the debt for the company, which is currently majority owned by the Egyptian hotel development and investor family Sawiris FTI Group, as part of the planned takeover. However, most market observers with whom Reisevor9 spoke about the topic expressed skepticism that such a deal could happen.

FUN&SUN to launch Premium Jet flights to Türkiye FUN&SUN to launch Premium Jet flights to Türkiye

There was little to suggest debt relief anyway

Even if the deal had received formal legal approval in Berlin and Brussels, it would most likely have brought other actors into the picture who had also received funding from the WSF. TUI and Lufthansa, for example, have already repaid the government money including interest. They would argue, not without justification, that canceling debt for a single player would be tantamount to distorting competition. A possible extension of the loan terms, which expire in 2026 and 2027, is now being discussed in financial circles, reports the Handelsblatt.

FTI's debt for WSF is around 600 million euros

It remains unclear how the investor, who, like company founder Dietmar Gunz, acquired the FTI Group for a symbolic euro, wants to deal with the debt burden. Certares had announced that it wanted to invest 125 million euros. But the debt from the WSF loan alone amounts to around 600 million euros. It is also unclear what role FTI should play within Certares' extensive network of tourist participation. The company has invested in Amex GBT, Ama Waterways, G Adventures, Hertz, several hotel groups and Latam Airlines, among others.

Editor: Haber Merkezi