State aid: Commission approves €11.6 million Czech scheme to support travel agencies in context of coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €11.6 million Czech scheme to support businesses active in the travel services sector in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of bank guarantees, securing these beneficiaries’ co-participation under a compulsory insurance against bankruptcy. Guarantees will be issued by Czechia’s promotional bank, the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank, on behalf of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The support will help beneficiaries that are facing a lack of liquidity to obtain such an insurance, allowing them to continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Czech scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed the maximum amount per company provided by the Temporary Framework; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 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. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.61837 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.