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Brussels, 19 January 2009

Austrian Airlines: the Commission authorises rescue aid for Austrian Airlines

The Commission has today decided to authorise rescue aid for the Austrian flag carrier. The aid will be in the form of a guarantee on a loan facility worth some EUR 200 million to keep the company operating until the Commission can take a position on another issue involving possible State aid linked to its privatisation.

The Commission has examined the rescue aid for Austrian Airlines notified by Austria and has authorised it after checking that it complies with Community rules, notably:

  • the aid is in the form of a loan guarantee for €200 million granted at market rates.
  • the amount of aid is limited to what is needed to manage the company;

Today's decision deals only with a short-term measure to tackle liquidity problems that Austrian Airlines has encountered as a result of the financial crisis.

Having examined the information provided by the Austrian authorities the Commission has 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.

The decision adopted today does not concern 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 and are still being examined.

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