The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves prolonged support to airlines in Norway due to the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves prolonged support to airlines in Norway*

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved an amendment and prolongation of the existing guarantee scheme for airline operators facing acute liquidity shortages until 30 June 2021.

Air travel has plummeted since containment measures and travel restrictions were introduced in March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The extended duration of the crisis and decline in travel continues to have an adverse effect on the airline industry.

On 30 March 2020, ESA approved a guarantee scheme to support Norway-based airline operators. The scheme sought to remedy serious disturbances in the industry by providing state guarantees to aviation operators facing liquidity shortages owing to a significant drop in air travel. The notified amendment pursues the same objective in light of the extended adverse effects. The maximum guarantee period has now been extended from two years to three years in order to ensure that more airlines, many of which face severe liquidity strain, have access to financing.

ESA approved amendments to the scheme on 10 July, and on 15 October, a prolongation of the scheme until the end of the year was approved. Today’s decision further extends the duration of the scheme until 30 June 2021.

ESA’s decision can be found here.

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EFTA Surveillance Authority, The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves prolonged support to airlines in Norway due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 24 November 2020, e-Competitions Competition Law & Covid-19, Art. N° 98031

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