It seems that Alitalia has yet another chance to live, with the European Commission approving its request for a €200 million bailout by the Italian state.
Alitalia Boeing 777-200ER – Image, Alitalia
The aid, valued at €199.45 million was within EU State aid rules. The measure aims at compensating the airline for the damages suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Italy notified to the Commission an aid measure to compensate Alitalia for the damage suffered from 1 March 2020 to 15 June 2020 resulting from the containment measures and travel restrictions introduced by Italy and other destination countries to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The support will take the form of a €199.45 million direct grant, which corresponds to the estimated damage directly caused to the airline in that period.
The other investigations on Alitalia – involving €900 million loans granted to the airline by Italy in 2017 and n additional €400 million loans granted by Italy in October 2019, however, are still ongoing.
Alitalia has a fleet of 95 aircraft operating out of Rome as its primary base. It has been impacted heavily by COVID-19 – like most European airlines.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said:
“This measure will enable Italy to compensate Alitalia for the damage directly suffered due to the travel restrictions necessary to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The aviation industry is one of the sectors that has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus outbreak. We continue working with Member States to find workable solutions to support companies in these difficult times, in line with EU rules. At the same time, our investigations into past support measures to Alitalia are ongoing and we are in contact with Italy on their plans and compliance with EU rules.”
It just keeps living…
Alitalia’s survival is a mixture of amazement it hasn’t faced the axe and how the rules on aid keep getting bent to seemingly support the airline. After having the purse-strings cut from Etihad, it tried to change with a new livery and uniforms.
But it seems Italian money is still being spent on this airline. Is it value for money to keep the Italian flag in the skies?
I’m not sure…
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