State aid: Commission approves €5.8 million Bulgarian measure to support Burgas and Varna airports in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine
Under the measure, the aid will take the form of a deferral of the payment of the concession fees due by Fraport Twin Star Airport Management AD, the company managing the two airports, to the Bulgarian government, which owns the airports’ infrastructures. The purpose of the measure is to help the two airports address the liquidity shortages that they are facing due to a decrease in operations following the closure of the Ukrainian airspace, as well as of the European airspace to Russian aircraft, by reducing the costs borne by the airport operator.
The Commission found that the Bulgarian measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. In particular, the payment deferral (i) will be granted no later than 31 December 2023; (ii) will have a duration of two years; and (iii) the interest rate respects the minimum levels set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. The Commission therefore concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the Bulgarian measure under EU state aid rules.
More information on the Temporary Crisis Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the Russia’s war against Ukraine can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.105987 in the state aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
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