The measure aims at compensating the airline for the damage suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak between 16 March and 31 December 2020.
Finland notified to the Commission an aid measure to compensate Finnair for damages suffered between 16 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 due to the travel restrictions necessary to limit the spread of the virus:
•In the first compensation period, from 16 March to 30 June 2020, the notified measure will compensate Finnair for the overall loss of income caused by the travel restrictions imposed in Finland, EU and non-EU countries.
•In the second compensation period starting in July, given that many travel restrictions in the EU had already been lifted by then, the notified measure will compensate Finnair for the losses caused by remaining or new travel restrictions affecting specific routes.
The support will take the form of a hybrid loan in the amount of €351.38 million.
The Commission found that the Finnish measure will compensate the damages suffered by Finnair that are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak, since the loss of income of the overall business between 16 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, as well as on the selected routes between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020, can be considered as damage directly linked to the exceptional occurrence.
The Commission also found that the measure is proportionate, also beyond June 2020, as the route-by-route quantitative analysis submitted by Finland appropriately identifies the damage attributable to the containment measures, and therefore the compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage on those routes.
Furthermore, the aid measure includes a claw-back mechanism, whereby any possible public support in excess of the actual damage received by the beneficiary will have to be paid back to the Finnish State. The risk of the State aid exceeding the damage is therefore excluded. ■