The European Commission gave a green light to the government of Spain to financially support Air Nostrum, the regional Spanish air carrier, currently operating as a franchisee of the flag carrier airline Iberia.

The EU Commission approved the Spanish government’s decision to compensate Air Nostrum damages suffered due to the COVID-19 outbreak by allocating €9 million of the state aid, the EU announced on July 23, 2021. The Commission admitted that a certain amount of support is necessary for Air Nostrum to cover a part of the financial damages suffered between March 29, 2020, and May 23, 2020, when the government implemented air travel restrictions in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

At the time, the airline had no other option than to ground the whole fleet consisting of 33 aircraft.

The Commission stated that the regional Spanish air carrier “plays an important role in [the country‘s] international connectivity” as well as is a crucial player for regional connectivity for the Valencia region. And concluded that the compensation did not exceed the amount of financial damage that the airline suffered.

“The scheme was approved under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by the Member States to compensate specific companies or specific sectors for the damages directly caused by exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus outbreak,” reads the statement issued by the Commission.

“The Commission concluded that the Spanish measure is in line with EU State aid rules,” the authority added.

The €9 million state aid should be granted for Air Nostrum before December 31, 2021.

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