The European Commission has found Italian €199.45 million ($236 million) support in favour of Alitalia aiming to compensate the airline for the damages suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said: “This measure will enable Italy to compensate Alitalia for the damage directly suffered due to the travel restrictions necessary to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The aviation industry is one of the sectors that has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus outbreak.
“We continue working with Member States to find workable solutions to support companies in these difficult times, in line with EU rules. 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.”
Alitalia is a major network airline operating in Italy. With a fleet of over 95 planes, in 2019 the company 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. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Alitalia has suffered a significant reduction of its services, resulting in high operating losses.
Italy notified to the Commission an aid measure to compensate Alitalia for the damage suffered from March 1, 2020 to June 15, 2020 resulting from the containment measures and travel restrictions introduced by Italy and other destination countries to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The support will take the form of a €199.45 million direct grant, which corresponds to the estimated damage directly caused to the airline in that period. – TradeArabia News Service