State aid: Commission approves German aid scheme to support airports affected by the coronavirus outbreak
Daily News 12 / 08 / 2020
Source: European Commission Spokesperson's Service
The European Commission has approved a German aid scheme to support airports in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved partially based on Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and partially under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, which will be open to all operators of German airports, the German authorities at different levels (federal, state and municipal) will be able to: (ii) compensate airports for revenue losses directly caused by the coronavirus outbreak during the period 4 March - 30 June 2020; and (ii) provide liquidity support in the form of grants, guarantees on loans, subsidised interest rates and deferrals of certain taxes and charges to airports facing liquidity shortages as a result of the restrictions that Germany and other Member States had to impose to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The Commission's assessment in the present case is limited to tax and charges, which are not covered by previously approved schemes. With respect to the damage compensation, the Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) TFEU and found that the German aid scheme will compensate damage that is directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak and will provide liquidity to airports in need. It also found that the measure is proportionate as the compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage. With respect to the deferrals of tax and charges, the Commission concluded that the measures are necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Airport operations must be secured to ensure connectivity, mobility and air transport. This scheme will enable German authorities at different levels to compensate German airports for the damage suffered as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, it will help them address their liquidity shortages and weather the crisis. During these difficult times, we continue to work with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place as quickly and effectively as possible to tackle the negative effects of the coronavirus outbreak.” The full press release is available online.