Sweden’s half billion euro airline bailout scheme has been given the go ahead by the European Commission, with an estimated 20 firms likely to benefit.
THE €455 million package of loan agreements is one of the biggest inroads into rescuing European airlines hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The support scheme is open to any airline that has held a licence to operate in Swedish airspace since January 1, with government putting that figure at as many as 20 companies.
Scandinavian Airlines, part-owned by the Danish and Swedish governments, is among those set to benefit from the money, along with smaller operators of ambulance flights and helicopter services.
EU competition boss Margrethe Vestager said “the Swedish scheme will provide airlines with much-needed liquidity in these unprecedented tough times.”
The bailout was agreed at the weekend under the EC’s new “more relaxed” state aid framework, aimed at assisting governments in their efforts to lessen the economic impact of the pandemic.
Although the EC’s criteria are less stringent, the scheme only got the approval because the loan guarantees will only be offered until the end of 2020 and must be paid back in six years.