German rail starts receiving more than 2bn euros COVID-19 relief

 Aid worth more than two billion euros has started reaching German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and other companies in the sector to make up for losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

Enak Ferlemann, the government official responsible for the railways said, starting this month, 2.1 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in public funds are to be paid out to the group’s DB-Netz division.

The compensation money will initially make up for revenue lost due to a lack of user charges on the long-distance rail network.

Deutsche Bahn dominates long-distance transport with its ICE and Intercity trains.

The market shares of competitors Flixtrain and the Austrian federal railway, with its night trains, are small.

He said so far, only a small part of the direct and indirect state aid totalling 3.77 billion euros to the German railways that was approved by the EU Commission has been provided.

“There had been lengthy negotiations with the commission to avoid strict conditions under which the government in Berlin would be able to give Deutsche Bahn compensation for pandemic losses.

“One of such conditions could have been the break-up of the federal group. (dpa/NAN)

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