The European Commission on Friday approved, under EU State aid rules, a 199.45 million euros Italian aid measure to Alitalia to compensate the airline for the damages suffered due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
A major network airline operating in Italy and with a fleet of over 95 planes, Alitalia in 2019 served hundreds of destinations all over the world, carrying about 20 million passengers from its main hub in Rome and other Italian airports to various international destinations.
From 1 March to 15 June, Alitalia suffered a significant reduction of its services and therefore high operating losses, resulting from the containment measures and travel restrictions introduced by Italy and other destination countries to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The Italian government notified the Commission of an aid measure, in the form of a 199.45 million euros direct grant, to compensate Alitalia for the damage suffered.
The Commission assessed the measure and found that it will compensate the damage suffered by the airline that is directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak.
“At the same time, our investigations into past support measures to Alitalia are ongoing and we are in contact with Italy on their plans and compliance with EU rules,” Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said.
It is reminded that following complaints received, on 23 April 2018 the Commission opened a formal investigation procedure on 900 million euros loans granted to Alitalia by Italy in 2017. On 28 February 2020, the Commission opened a separate formal investigation procedure on an additional 400 million euros loan granted by Italy in October 2019. Both investigations are ongoing.