State aid: Commission approves €10 million Irish scheme to support companies operating in coach tourism sector affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €10 million Irish scheme to support companies operating in the coach tourism sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants. The amount of aid per beneficiary will be based on the value, age and capacity of the total number of eligible vehicles and shall not exceed the revenue lost due to the coronavirus outbreak between 13 March 2020 and 31 December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. The purpose of the measure is to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that these companies are facing because of the restrictive measures imposed by the government to limit the spread of the virus. The Commission found that the Irish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the support (i) will not exceed €800,000 per company; and (ii) will be granted no later than 30 June 2021. The Commission 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 of the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.58995 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.