ANNOUNCEMENT 11 Jun 2014In June 2014, the government of Italy announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Official letter from the EC to Italy in English, SA.38634:
On 11 June 2014, the EuropeanCommission allowed Italy to provide the Blue Panorama Airlines S.p.A.with a rescue aid in the form of a 6-month guarantee for lines ofcredits in order to meet liquidity needs of EUR 12 million.
The beneficiary is an Italianairline company operating in the low-cost and executive touristicsector. It has a share of 2.6% in the total Italian air passengertraffic and flies mostly from Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa airports to Calabria, Sicily, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Kenya,Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Albania, Russia, the Dominican Republic andJamaica.
The undertaking was declaredinsolvent on 18 July 2013. According to the EC, the Italian authoritiespointed to the setback in the aviation sector "due to the economic andfinancial crisis" (para. 3, letter from the EC to Italy, Brussels 11.6.2014).
Based on the findings of theCommission, "the market for touristic flights is open to competition inthe EU. BPA is active on the popular touristic routes within Italy,Europe and abroad (Africa, Asia, South America), sometimes in direct competition with other European providers. Bygranting BPA 'i.e. Blue Panorama Airlines' access to liquidity atconditions which it would not otherwise obtain, the State guarantee isliable to improve the competitive position of BPA in relation to its competitors in the internal market. It consequently distorts orthreatens to distort competition and affects trade between MemberStates." (para. 12-13)
A state measure in the GTAdatabase is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which itsimplementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreigncommercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.