In July 2009, the government of Germany announced a change in private-sector financial support.



  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising
Inception date: 01 Jul 2009 | Removal date: open ended

Loan guarantee

On 14 September 2009, the EC was notified about a new price structure at the Airport of Dortmund, called "Neue Entgeldordnung" or simply NEO. The EC argues that 'the cost structure will very likely not cover the operational costs of the airport' and can therefore be considered as dumping, constituting a potential distortion to the national and cross-border market for airline services (par. 49, letter from the EC to Germany, 23.03.2012 c(2012) 1723 fin). New operational loses will trigger additional state aid to compensate for the losses and constitutes a potential distortion also at the airport level.
The Airport of Dortmund is a regional airport operated by the "Flughafen Dortmund GmbH", which is owned by the city of Dortmund. Between 2004 and 2009, the airport made yearly loses of EUR 19 to 28 million (ebit). The loses where covered by DSW21 ("Verlustübernahmevertrag"), a firm entirely owned by the City of Dortmund. Four other airports are in the direct catchment area of Dortmund airport: Essen/Mühlheim, 60 km away, Paderborn/Lippstadt, 78 km away , Münster/Osnabrück 81 km away, Düsseldorf-Lohhausen 83 km away.
The EC states "The short distance between Dortmund and other European Airports" leads to the assumption that "competition and trade between member states will be affected" (par. 73). The guarantees given to the Airport of Dortmund constitute an "economic benefit and create a beneficial position vis ŕ vis the European competitors.... the public support distorts or threatens to distort trade between member states" (par. 74, letter from the EC to Germany, 23.03.2012 c(2012) 1723 fin.).
The EC also examines the discounts associated with the NEO and concludes that "services can not be delivered under the cost level" and that the benchmark must always be a firm "under normal market conditions". The EC also states that the new discounts " constitutea benefit that would not be feasible under normal market conditions" (par. 100, letter from the EC to Germany, 23.03.2012 c(2012) 1723 fin.).
The EC concludes that "prices below market prices lower the operating costs of the airlines and strengthen the position of the airline on the market". Hence "the NEO at the airport Dortmund distorts trade and competition between member states." Therefore, the NEO constitutes state aid according to article 107 (1) (par. 113, letter from the EC to Germany, 23.03.2012 c(2012) 1723 fin.).
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory