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Coronavirus: Transport minister delighted with airline aid measure

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos on Monday thanked the European Commission for approving a €6.13 million Cypriot incentive scheme geared to support airlines affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme was approved after the European Commission found it to be in line with the State aid Temporary Framework of the EU. It will take the form of direct grants and will be open to all interested airlines operating routes to and from Cyprus.

It is a reintroduction 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. It will now last until the end of June.

“The purpose of the plan is to restore air connectivity, which will contribute to the development of the aviation industry and support the tourism sector and the Cypriot economy in general,” Karousos said in a statement.

“I want to express my gratitude to the European Commission for approving the scheme in what constitutes a difficult period for everyone.

“The scheme aims to support air connectivity, especially for EU member states that are peripheral to the European geographical area and it was warmly welcomed by everyone,” Karousos concluded.

According to a European Commission 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 per cent and up to a 70 per cent, and it will be paid per each transported passenger.”

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