The European Commission has approved a €800,000 Portuguese scheme to further support the passenger transport sector in the Region of the Azores in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. It follows two other Portuguese schemes to support the passenger transport sector in Azores that the Commission approved on June 4, 20211 (SA.63010) and on September 13, 2021 (SA.64599). Under the new scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants. The measure will be open to collective passenger transport companies of all sizes active in the Azores. The aim of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and to help them continue their activities during and after the pandemic. The Commission found that the Portuguese scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed EUR 2.3 million per company; and (ii) will be granted no later than June 30, 2022. The Commission 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 of the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.102334 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.