State aid: Commission approves modification of Swedish scheme to support companies active in air ambulance transport in context of coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has found the amendment to an existing Swedish scheme to support companies active in air ambulance transport to be in line with the Temporary Framework. The existing scheme was approved by the Commission in March 2021 (SA.61904). Under the existing scheme, the support takes the form of direct grants to cover the fixed costs incurred by the beneficiaries for air ambulance transports, during the period from 1 January to 30 June 2021. Sweden notified the following modifications to the existing scheme: (i) an increase in the budget, from approximately €5 million (SEK 50 million) to approximately €6.2 million (SEK 62 million); (ii) an extension of the period for which aid can be granted, until 15 August 2021. Fixed costs that are already covered by another source will not be compensated. The Commission found that the amended scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €1.8 million per company; and (ii) the aid will be granted no later than 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the scheme, as modified, remains 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.63130 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.