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The European Commission has found that a € 6.13 million Cypriot incentive program for airlines affected by the coronavirus pandemic is in line with the provisional framework for state aid.
The program is a reinstatement of an aid measure originally approved by the Commission on 1 July 2020 (SA.57691), which expired on 31 December 2021. Under the program, support will take the form of direct grants. The measure is addressed to all interested airlines operating flights to and from Cyprus. The amount of the grant will depend on the occupancy rate of the aircraft (ie the number of passengers by the capacity of the aircraft expressed in number of passengers), starting from a occupancy rate of 41% and up to 70%, and will be paid per passenger carried. The aim of the program is to support airlines in an integrated and non-discriminatory manner, in order to restore air travel to and from Cyprus and, therefore, to achieve the recovery of air connectivity and tourism.
& nbsp; The Commission has found that the Cyprus program complies with the conditions set out in the provisional framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed EUR 2.3 million per beneficiary; and (ii) will be granted by 30 June 2022 at the latest. The Commission has concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to in accordance with Article 107 (3) (b) TFEU and the conditions laid down in the provisional framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under the EU State Aid Rules. More information on the interim framework and other measures taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is available here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be published under case number SA.101311 in the State Aid Register on the Commission's Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.