European Commission Approves €39.7 Million Italian Aid to Alitalia
Alitalia is a major network airline operating in Italy, with a fleet of over 95 planes. In 2019, the company served hundreds of destinations all over the world, carrying about 20 million passengers from its main hub in Rome and other Italian airports to various international destinations.
The restrictions put in place in Italy and other countries to limit the spread of a second and third wave of the coronavirus pandemic have heavily affected Alitalia’s operations. As a result, Alitalia incurred significant operating losses until at least 30 April 2021.
On 25 June 2021, Italy notified to the Commission an additional aid measure to compensate Alitalia for further damages suffered on certain specific routes from 1 March to 30 April 2021 due to the emergency measures necessary to limit the spread of the virus. The support will take the form of a €39.7 million direct grant, which corresponds to the estimated damage directly caused to the airline in that period according to a route-by-route analysis of the eligible routes.
The Commission found that the Italian measure will compensate for damages suffered by Alitalia which are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak that qualifies as exceptional occurrence.
This follows the Commission decisions of 12 May 2021, 26 March 2021, 29 December 2020 and 4 September 2020 approving Italian damage compensation measures in favor of Alitalia, compensating the airline for the damages suffered from 1 to 31 January 2021, 1 November to 31 December 2020, 16 June to 31 October 2020 and 1 March to 15 June 2020 respectively.
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