COVID19: EU gives Cyprus go-ahead to attract airlines

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Brussels has given Nicosia the green light to help out coronavirus-struck airlines flying to Cyprus with a €6.3 mln incentive scheme.

The Ministry of Transport announced on Thursday that the state incentive scheme was approved under the European Commission’s state aid temporary framework.

Under the scheme, Cyprus will be giving out each company direct grants of up to €800,000 which “will be accessible in a transparent manner to all interested airlines operating routes to and from Cyprus,” the ministry said in a statement.

Airlines will receive grants depending on their aircraft load factor, that is, the number of passengers on board divided by the seating capacity of the carrier.

The scheme is to benefit some 60 companies from the European Economic Area, which carrying out Cyprus flights until the end of the year.

The Transport Ministry said the scheme aims to give incentives to airlines to re-establish air routes to Cyprus, thus enhancing air connectivity for tourism and the economy.

The European Commission concluded that the COVID-19  induced measure was necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.