The European Union Commission has approved Germany’s plan to give 1.7 billion euros to recapitalize Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (FBB) in the context of the COIVD-19 pandemic.
Airports have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak and the travel restrictions in place. With this action, Germany will contribute to strengthening Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg’s ownership position and helping the company cope with the economic impacts of the outbreak,” said Executive Vice President, Margrethe Vestager, welcoming the approval.
FBB, the state-owned airport operator in Berlin, Germany, operates Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, SchengenvisaInfo.com reports.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions that had to be imposed in order to stop the spread of the virus and its variants, FBB recorded significant losses while at the same time facing operating costs. As a result, the liquidity and equity position of the company has deteriorated.
Taking into account such events, the Committee notified that it plans to award up to 1.7 billion euros and, accordingly, allow public shareholders to inject capital into the FBB capital reserve.
In line with the conditions set out in the Interim Framework, the capital infusion of FBB will not exceed the minimum required to ensure its viability and will not exceed the restoration of the capital position that the Company was in prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.
According to the European Union Commission, this measure will prevent bankruptcy, which will have serious consequences for communication and employment in Berlin.
Additionally, the same noted that until at least 75 percent of the recapitalization is recovered, the FBB will be subject to various restrictions. It has been emphasized that until the aid is fully recovered, the FBB will not be able to offer any airline discounts or expand its capacity.
“This is to ensure that the FBB does not take unduly benefit from state recapitalization assistance to the detriment of fair competition in the single market,” the commission noted.
Finally, the same revealed that the FBB will have to publish all information regarding the use of the assistance received and how it supports activities associated with the green and digital transformation.
Financial support from the European Union is granted to health and other public services to address the case of COVID-19. In general, EU member states can design measures and request grants to support various sectors or companies suffering from the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We continue to work in close cooperation with member states to ensure that national support measures are implemented as quickly and effectively as possible, in line with EU rules,” Vestager added.
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