The European Commission recently found a 6.8-million-euro Greek aid measure to support Ellinair to be in line with EU state aid rules.
According to an announcement, the measure aims to compensate the Greek airline for the damage suffered during the period between 18 March and 30 June 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions imposed by Greece and other countries to limit the spread of the virus.
“As a result, the airline experienced a steep decline in traffic and profitability over this period,” the announcement said.
The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate specific companies or sectors for the damage directly caused by exceptional occurrences.
“The Commission considers that the coronavirus outbreak qualifies as such an exceptional occurrence, as it is an extraordinary, unforeseeable event having significant economic impact,” the announcement said.
The Commission also found that the measure is proportionate, as the compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage.
The aid will take the form of a direct grant.