The Dutch government has again failed to stop a bonus worth 2 million euros for Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith.

At Wednesday's shareholders' meeting, a majority voted in favor of the airline company's remuneration policy.

This also includes the stock bonus criticized by outgoing Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Finance).

The controversial bonus in the Netherlands is a long-term reward.

Smith will not receive the share package until 2023 when Air France-KLM has met certain financial, sustainable and other goals.

Smith reduced his fixed salary by 25 percent from March 2020 to 744,000 euros due to the corona crisis and waived his annual bonus.

Hoekstra reported earlier this month that he would reject any form of bonuses for the top of the company.

Due to the corona crisis, Air France-KLM received billions in government aid, many employees lost their jobs and other employees had to forfeit salary.

The million-dollar reward for the CEO is therefore inappropriate, according to the cabinet.

In total, a minority of just under 23 percent of the shareholders voted against the 2020 remuneration policy at the meeting. The Dutch state, with a 9.3 percent interest in Air France-KLM, also voted against the 2021 remuneration proposals. Smith again a chance to allocate 2 million euros in shares.

Not sure if Smith gets bonus

Incidentally, it is far from certain that Smith will eventually receive his stock bonus for 2020.

The objectives drawn up for this may remain out of reach due to the corona crisis.

In addition, the shares will not be paid out until Air France-KLM has repaid at least three quarters of the recently pledged capital support, as required by the European Commission.

Air France-KLM suffered a loss of billions last year due to the collapse of international aviation.

The company received 10.4 billion euros in loans and credit guarantees from the Dutch and French governments to avert bankruptcy.

This year, Paris pledged a further € 4 billion in aid, including the purchase of € 1 billion in new shares in the aviation company.

Financial CEO Gagey warned on Wednesday that this is not enough for a healthy balance sheet.

The airline group still has negative equity, so new capital injections are needed.

Air France-KLM therefore successfully asked shareholders for permission to raise up to EUR 2.6 billion in capital through possible new share issues, which is higher than an earlier ceiling.

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