State aid: European Commission closes investigation into public support for Air Nostrum’s fleet renewal in Spain

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The European Commission has closed its in-depth investigation into Spanish public support to regional airline Air Nostrum for the renewal of its fleet.

In October 2019, the Commission opened a formal investigation to assess whether €9 million of public support by the Spanish region of Valencia to Air Nostrum for the renewal of its fleet was in line with EU State aid rules. The Commission had doubts that the aid to Air Nostrum fell within the State aid rules for environmental protection of the 2014 General Block Exemption Regulation (“GBER”), as argued by Spain, and that it complied with the Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Air Nostrum decided to revise its investment plans and renounced the aid for its fleet renewal. None of the aid has been paid out. Spain accepted the renunciation and repealed the aid measure. As a result, the Commission’s investigation has become without object and the Commission, therefore, closed its investigation.

More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.50707 once confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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