The European Commission has approved a €6.13 million Cypriot incentive scheme geared to support airlines affected by the coronavirus pandemic, having found it to be in line with the State aid Temporary Framework of the EU.
The scheme is a re-introduction of an aid measure initially approved by the Commission on 1 July 2020 (SA.57691), which expired on 31 December 2021, according to a press release by the Commission.
The scheme, which will take the form of direct grants, will be open to all interested airlines operating routes to and from Cyprus.
According to the press release, “the level of remuneration will depend on the aircraft’s load factor (that is, the number of passengers on board divided by the capacity of the aircraft in passenger numbers), starting from a load factor of 41% and up to a 70%, and it will be paid per each transported passenger.”
“The aim of the scheme is to support airlines in a comprehensive and non-discriminatory manner in order to re-establish air routes from and to Cyprus, and thus enable the recovery of air connectivity and tourism,” the press release notes.
The scheme has been found to be in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework, since the aid will not exceed €2.3 million per beneficiary and will be granted no later than 30 June 2022.
The Commission therefore concluded that the measure is “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.”