RIGA - The European Commission (EC) has approved a EUR 11.6 million aid measure by Latvia to compensate national airline airBaltic for the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The press office of the EC Representation in Latvia informed LETA that the EC has established that the Latvian aid measure in the amount of EUR 11.6 million to compensate for the damage caused by Covid-19 is in accordance with the European Union (EU) regulations on state aid.
The purpose of this measure is to compensate the airline for the losses incurred from June 16, 2020 to June 14, 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions imposed by Latvia and other countries. airBaltic suffered significant operating losses and experienced a sharp decline in traffic and profitability during this period, according to the EC.
This measure complements other support measures for the airline approved by the EC in July 2020 and December 2021.
The EC assessed the measure under the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, on the basis of which the EC may approve state aid measures taken by Member States to compensate certain undertakings or certain sectors for damage directly caused by exceptional circumstances such as the Covid-19 outbreak.
The EC found that the Latvian measure compensates for the damage directly related to the Covid-19 pandemic. It also found that the measure was proportionate as the amount of aid did not exceed what was necessary to compensate for the losses. On this basis, the EC concluded that the Latvian measure complied with EU state aid rules.