In the first aid package approved by the government to try to alleviate the effects on the economy of the coronavirus crisis to the value of 18,225 million euros, the government has given the green light to a credit line that includes a total of 400 million euros to be allocated to the tourism and transport sector through a specific line of the ICO.
In this first package of urgent measures, approved by the government and that “will be launched in the coming weeks”, also include others for air transport, specifically to make slots more flexible, something that will mean “a great relief for the airlines. The Airlines for Europe (A4E) association, which brings together Europe’s major airlines, has also asked the European Commission and the EU capitals to review the rules governing these slots until the end of the summer, a matter on which the European Commission is already working. Furthermore, the same entity has demanded from the EU and the Member States a postponement or exemption from any new aviation tax at national or EU level (the Spanish government has advanced its intention to create one) because it will take them a long time to recover from the damage caused by COVID-19.
Pedro Sánchez has pointed out that this Royal Decree will also establish measures to protect discontinuous fixed workers, a figure widely used in the tourism sector, with a high level of seasonality, by extending the Social Security allowances to cover the months of February to June.
In addition, Renfe, which has been forced to cut its medium and long distance trips by 50%, in addition to modifying the suburban ones, has announced that it will facilitate the changes and cancellations of tickets without any cost and will return all the money to all the travelers of the Imserso vacation program.
Sanchez also recalled the Guide to Good Practice in hotels that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism which includes a series of recommendations to apply in these establishments as a preventive measure.
Discounts and subsidies
The Royal Decree Law approved by the Government also includes a series of measures aimed at preserving employment. These include the extension of social security benefits to permanent, discontinuous workers to cover the months of February to June. In addition, the Government has committed to granting SMEs tax deferrals and installments for a period of six months without interest, since “there are many companies, SMEs and viable self-employed, “which are going to be affected by the health emergency.