The European Commission (EC) has approved Latvia’s plan to grant State aid up to EUR 39.7 million to the Rīga International Airport, said Kaspars Kreicis, press secretary of EC representative in Latvia, March 8.
The Commission has supported an increase in the core capital of Riga airport by EUR 35.2 million and a dividend on leaving EUR 4.5 million of the 2019 profit at the company’s disposal, according to the airport.
The EC has concluded that the recapitalization measures are proportionate, appropriate and necessary to avoid serious disturbances in the economies of the Member States. Consequently, the EC has approved the compatibility of the Latvian plans with EU State aid rules.
Riga International Airport is a company wholly owned by the State of Latvia. Its main scope is the provision of aviation services (aircraft, passenger and cargo services), but it also provides non-aviation services, such as leasing rooms, land and parking lots. Riga International Airport suffered significant losses due to the outbreak and travel restrictions of coronavirus.
“In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the airport has substantially revised its operating costs, ensuring that financial resources are used as efficiently as possible. As a result, last year the airport worked with less losses than initially forecast, it was possible to reduce the amount of state aid needed in the negotiations with the EC.
“However, given the changing and uncertain situation in the aviation sector, the challenges for ensuring company stability and maintaining competitiveness continue. (..) The aid granted will allow the airport to ensure economic activity this year by ensuring Latvia’s connectivity with the most important European air traffic centers in both passenger and freight transport, and to complete the investments launched,” said Laila Odiņa, Chair of the Board of the airport.