On the very last day it was able to do so, the Swedish National Debt Office provided a state guarantee for a loan of up to SEK200 million kronor (USD24.5 million) to BRA - Braathens Regional Airlines (Stockholm Bromma).

The loan guarantee was granted to BRA and its technical subsidiary BRA - Braathens Regional Airways (TF, Trollhättan) on December 31 under a government-mandated programme intended to mitigate the economic impact airlines have faced with the coronavirus pandemic. No further guarantees under the scheme could be given beyond that date.

The guarantee covers 90% of the principal of the loan, which will run for five years. It is the second to be approved under the scheme, the first having been for SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK, Copenhagen Kastrup), a loan that has subsequently been repaid, according to the debt office.

The credit guarantees under the programme had been intended to amount to up to SEK5 billion (USD613 million) in total, of which a maximum of SEK1.5 billion (USD190 million) had been intended for SAS.

BRA was an early victim of the coronavirus crisis when, at the start of April 2020, it suspended operations and went into receivership, subsequently initiating a restructuring of the company. That was completed in September once it had dismissed 580 employees with about 20 permanent employees left to guide a restart of the airline.

BRA initially intended to gradually resume scheduled flights in autumn 2020, while simultaneously reemploying some of the laid-off staff.

But the persistence of the crisis forced a postponement of these plans, and the airline now says on its website that it aims to relaunch six to seven Swedish domestic routes in the first quarter of 2021. For now, it has been operating charter flights “for companies and organisations” with four aircraft.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, four of its twelve ATR72-600s are currently active, and ch-aviation analysis of Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows that all four aircraft have been deployed in recent months on ad-hoc flights to destinations across Scandinavia and Europe.

However, despite the success of obtaining the state loan guarantee, Swedish airport operator Swedavia’s plans to permanently shutter BRA base Stockholm Bromma have added to the uncertainty for the regional carrier.