The European (EU) Commission has approved the state aid of €19.3 million (RON94 million) for TAROM, the Romanian airline, as compensation of losses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, announced EU Commission Press on October 6, 2020.

The Commission stated that the amount of loan guarantee of €19.3 million (RON94 million) for the Romanian airline will cover the financial damage that is directly linked to the outbreak-related travel restrictions.

Earlier in September 2020, an independent external firm completed an audit and verified that the granted state aid will not exceed the amount of damage that TAROM has suffered during the particular period of March 16 and June 30, 2020.

The Commission has made a conclusion that a loan guarantee is proportionate to the airline‘s suffered financial losses and that the Romanian measure is in line with EU State aid rules.

The state aid is provided under regulations of the Treaty on the Functioning of EU that ensure the approval of State aid measures granted by the Member States in order to compensate specific companies and for the damages directly caused by COVID-19.

Following regulations of the Treaty on the Functioning of EU, if the audit shows that the state aid received by the particular airline exceeds the actual suffered damage, the air carrier has to return the excess back to the government of the particular country.

According to data from the Transport Ministry of Romania, Tarom predicts that the net loss at the end of 2020 will double the loss of 2019 and reach €65 million, up from the previous €35 million.