ANNOUNCEMENT 21 Aug 2020
In August 2020, the European Commission approved a EUR 290 million Belgian state aid measure to Brussels Airlines, in order to face the economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
European Commission. Press release. 21/08/2020. State aid: Commission approves €290 million Belgian support to Brussels Airlines in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_1507
SA.57544 COVID-19: Aid to Brussels Airlines. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_SA_57544
On 21 August 2020, the EU approved a Belgian aid measure for a total amount of EUR 290 million (approx. USD 342 million) to Brussels Airlines, as a response to the economic crisis originated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure consists of two components: (i) a EUR 287 million (approx. USD 338.5 million) state loan; and (ii) a EUR 3 million (approx. USD 3.5 million) equity injection.
According to the press release, the first component is a 6-year loan with subsidized interest, not convertible into equity, that may be drawn down in disbursements of minimum EUR 30 million upon request; whilst the second is a recapitalization measure in the form of “profit-sharing certificates”, a hybrid instrument that qualifies as equity under Belgian accounting rules.
In this context, Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy, stated that “with this support package (…), Belgium will provide SN Group, to which Brussels Airlines belongs, with the liquidity that it urgently needs to withstand the impact of the current crisis”.
The state aid is approved under the Temporary Framework under the State Aid and its amendment of 2 April 2020. The European Commission adopted the Temporary Framework under the State Aid rules of the European Union on 19 March (see related state act).