EU approves further COVID aid for the Portuguese airline TAP

EU approves further COVID aid for the Portuguese airline TAP ...

BRUSSELS, Dec 22 - The European Commission approved a further, smaller, assistance measure from the Portuguese government for the ailing flag carrier TAP on Wednesday, having also signed off a 2.55 billion euro rescue plan for the airline this week.

The Commission approved 71,4 million euros ($80,9 million) in state aid to compensate TAP for the damage suffered in the first half of 2021, due to COVID-19 accumulated travel restrictions.

Having been exposed to these travel restrictions, the company had extensive operations and experienced a large traffic and profitability decline in this period, the Commission said in a statement.

The aid must be cash or loan. The Commission said the compensation is not exceeded what was necessary to address the damage, and the measure didn't breach EU antitrust rules.

The smaller part of support comes after the airline approved on Tuesday an overall rescue plan, but imposed safeguards so it could limit competition distortions.

The proposed 2,55 billion euro reform plan for TAP, which is 72.5% regulated by the Portuguese landslides, includes thousands of jobs and compensation cuts.

1 = 0.8821 euros).

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