EC To Investigate Estonian Air State Aid

The European Commission (EC) says it has opened an in-depth investigation into a number of public support measures granted by Estonia in favour of its flag carrier Estonian Air. The commission said it had “doubts” whether the measures, which included a rescue loan of €8.3m granted in December 2012, were in line with EU state aid rules. According to EU rules, companies in difficulty can receive rescue aid only once over a period of ten years, and Estonian Air had already benefitted from three capital injections, of €7.3m in 2009, €19.9m in 2010, and €30m in 2011-2012. The EC says it was not notified about these capital injections, and claims the most recent injection was carried out exclusively by the state. The 2009 sale of Estonian Air's groundhandling business to the state-owned Tallinn Airport may also have involved state aid to Estonian Air, the EC says.

TAGS: Europe
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