State aid: Commission approves €110 million aid to compensate Athens international airport for the damage suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €110 million aid to compensate Athens International Airport S.A., the operator of Athens international airport Eleftherios Venizelos, for the damage suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak and the travel restrictions that Greece and other countries had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. This measure will enable Greece to compensate the operator of Athens international airport for the damage suffered during the period between 23 March and 30 June 2020 as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak and the travel restrictions in place. The aid will take the form of a direct grant and of a cancellation of concession fees. The measure was approved under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate companies for the damage directly caused by exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the notified measure will compensate damage that is directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak. It also found that the measure is proportionate, as the compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the scheme is in line with EU State aid rules. More information on 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.62052 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.