State aid: Commission approves €48.62 million Finnish aid measure to compensate Finnair for the damage suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic

Daily News 11 / 02 / 2022

Economia - pubblicata il 15 Febbraio 2022
Source: European Commission Spokesperson’s Service

The European Commission has found a €48.62 million Finnish aid measure to support Finnair to be in line with EU state aid rules.

It follows other Finnish support measures in favour of the airline that the Commission approved in May 2020
in June 2020
and in March 2021
This measure aims at compensating the airline for the damages suffered during the period between 1 January and 31 July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the travel restrictions imposed by
Finland and other countries to limit the spread of the virus.

As a result, Finnair incurred significant operating losses and experienced a steep decline in traffic and profitability over this period. The aid will take the form of a loan. The Commission
assessed the measure under Article
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 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
Commission found that the Finnish measure will compensate the damage suffered by Finnair that is directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission also found that the
measure is proportionate, as the aid does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage. Lastly, in light of the past support in favour of the airline, the Commission verified that the
current measure does not lead to overcompensation. The Commission therefore concluded that the damage compensation measure is in line with EU State aid rules.

More information on the actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The
non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.63668 in the State aid
on the Commission’s competition website once any
confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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