The Commission has authorised Austria to grant rescue aid to Austrian flag carrier, Austrian Airlines. The agreed aid will be in the form of a loan guarantee facility worth €200 million. The approval by the Commission is a short term measure to help the airline keep operating until the Commission can take a position on another issue involving possible state aid linked to its privatisation. Austrian Airlines has been beset by liquidity problems as a result of the financial crisis.
Having examined the information provided by the Austrian authorities the Commission concluded that the rescue aid is warranted and complies with the applicable provisions of the Community framework for rescue and restructuring of firms in difficulty, including for example the fact that the loan guarantee is to be granted at market rates and that its amount is limited to what is needed to manage the company.
The approval by the Commission does not affect the planned sale of Austrian Airlines to Lufthansa or the long term plans of the airline which have also been notified to the Commission by Austria as possible state aid. An investigation of those is ongoing.