EU Approves €110 Million Covid-19 Aid Package for Athens Airport
The European Commission on Monday approved, under EU State aid rules, a 110-million-euro aid to compensate Athens International Airport (AIA) S.A. for the damages suffered due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. AIA S.A. is the operator of Athens’ airport Eleftherios Venizelos.
The measure will enable Greece to compensate the airport’s operator for the damage suffered during the period between March 23 and June 30, 2020, as a direct result of the pandemic and the travel restrictions that Greece and other countries had to implement to limit the spread of the virus.
The aid will take the form of a direct grant and of a cancellation of concession fees.
“The measure was approved under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate companies for the damage directly caused by exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus outbreak,” the Commission said in an announcement.
The Commission found that the notified measure will compensate damage that is directly linked to the coronavirus pandemic. It also found that the measure is proportionate, as the compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the scheme is in line with EU State aid rules.