ANKARA 

The Hong Kong government will invest over $5 billion in Cathay Pacific to help the airlines overcome the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state-backed bailout includes HK$40 billion ($5.2 billion) package, daily South China Morning Post reported.

Carrie Lam-led Hong Kong government offered the company nearly HK$30 billion ($3.8B) bailout in loans and equity to the airlines.

“Cathay Pacific has explored available options and believes that a recapitalization is required to ensure it has sufficient liquidity to weather this current crisis,” the airlines said in a stock exchange filing.

According to the new liquidity program, the Hong Kong government through a new entity would take a 6.08% stake in the company.

Swire Pacific, Air China and Qatar Airways hold shares of 42.26%, 28.17% and 9.38%, respectively, in the airlines.

Hong Kong has named the new entity Aviation 2020 which will buy HK$19.5 billion ($2.5B) in shares in the airlines.

“It is expected to place Cathay Pacific in a better position to compete vigorously and to capitalize on any opportunities that may arise as a result of the current crisis and should position Cathay Pacific for growth,” the airlines added.

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