State aid: Commission approves €1.3 million Danish scheme to support air-passenger operations to and from Bornholm and Sønderborg airports

The European Commission has found a €1.3 million (approximately DKK 30 million) Danish scheme in support of air-passenger operations to and from Bornholm and Sønderborg airports, to be in line with EU State aid rules. The aid scheme provides for discounts on domestic airline ticket fares available to certain categories of passengers. The aim of the scheme is to increase the accessibility of the geographical areas where the two airports are located and to promote social inclusion of the population in those areas, which have suffered from reduced connectivity due to the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme will run until the end of 2020. The Commission assessed this measure under its 2014 Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines, which allow Member States to grant aid of a social character for air transport services under certain conditions. The Commission found that the proposed grants to the airlines operating domestic routes to and from Bornholm and Sønderborg airports will benefit final consumers. Furthermore, the aid has a social character, as it covers only certain categories of passengers travelling on those routes, and is granted without discrimination as to the origin of the services, meaning that it does not depend on the airline operating the services. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the State Aid Register under the case number SA.59378.