European Commission approves €2.2 million Belgian state aid measures to support Flemish airports in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

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The European Commission has approved €2.2 million Belgian aid measures to support the operators of Flemish airports (Antwerp airport, Ostend-Bruges airport and Kortrijk airport) in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

The measures were approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The measures consist in:

  1. an aid scheme, under which all Flemish airport operators will receive support in the form of a direct grant;
  2. support to the operators of Antwerp and Ostend airports in the form of payment deferrals of certain costs and fees (namely annual compensation for the use of statutory staff of the Flemish Region and concession fee for the use of the airport infrastructure due for the year 2020).

The purpose of the aid measures is to help Flemish airport operators mitigating the liquidity shortages that they have been facing due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found the measures to be in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.

In particular,

  1. the measures can only be granted until the end of this year;
  2. the direct grants do not exceed €800,000 per company, as provided by the Temporary Framework;
  3. the payment deferrals will be granted by 31 December 2020, and will be due by no later than 31 December 2021 and involve minimum remuneration, in line with the Temporary Framework.

The Commission therefore concluded that the measures are 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 set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measures 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.58299 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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