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Greece Announces Covid-19 Air Transport Aid Package

Greece’s air transport sector, employing some 11,000 people, will receive 115 million euros in funding to help it recover losses incurred by the coronavirus (Covid-19) health crisis, the government said this week.

The finance, labor, and transport ministries announced a series of support measures to cover the air transport sector, airlines and ground handling services, or more than 300 companies.

It should be noted that travelers visiting Greece by plane and airport services account for up to 85 percent of the country’s total tourism-related revenue, which comes to 18 billion euros annually.

The aid scheme includes providing support for employees, aircraft crew, and a 20-euro per seat reparation for April-May. The airline sector also has access to the liquidity tools announced for other sectors of the Greek economy, the ministries said in a joint statement.

More specifically, the announced scheme foresees:

– Extending initially announced measures in air transport supporting employees and businesses for the period after May 2020,

– Extending the suspension period of contracts for employees and awarding the emergency handout until July,

– A 40 percent discount on business space rents until August, applicable to rents paid by employees who are on temporary suspension,

– Benefits from the recently announced Syn-ergasia job retention program will be extended to cover the June 15-December 31, 2020 period,

– Insurance contributions (employer and employee) for the suspension period will be covered by the program,

– Pilots, cabin crews and aircraft technicians will be taxed according to a discounted income scale at 15 percent rate on wages,

– Compensation for April-May flights will be offered at 20 euros per offered seat (plus VAT),

– VAT reduction will apply on transport services from 24 percent to 13 percent from June 1 to October 31, 2020.

The government is expecting the measures to have a positive impact on the sector which is a key pillar of the tourism industry.

The news of the package sent Greek national carrier AEGEAN’s share price up by 3.26 percent to 4.75 euros on Thursday.

About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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