European Commission Opens Investigation into Corsair State Aid

European Commission Opens Investigation into Corsair State Aid
Photo Credit: Dylan Agbagni (CC0) from Bordeaux, France via Wikimedia Commons.

The European Commission has this week announced the opening of an investigation into the amended restructuring plan for French carrier Corsair under State Aid rules.

This comes following France informing the body back in September 2023 that they intend on amending the airline’s restructuring plan.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

European Commission Opens Investigation into Corsair State Aid…

European Commission Opens Investigation into Corsair State Aid
Mark Harkin, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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In their statement, the European Commission said the following on the investigation into Corsair:

“In September 2023, France informed the Commission of its plan to amend Corsair’s restructuring plan with the view to allow the airline to refocus its operations and to adapt to the new business environment.”

“France submitted that the business plan underlying the Corsair’s 2020 restructuring plan was based on assumptions which have not been confirmed and that exceptional unforeseeable external events had a particularly unfavourable impact on Corsair.”

“France submitted the detailed amendments to the restructuring plan in December 2023 that include, among others, adjustments to existing financing instruments as well as additional fiscal incentives.”   

“At this stage, on the basis of its preliminary assessment, the Commission needs to carry out a further assessment whether the revised restructuring plan is compatible with EU State aid rules.”

“Therefore, the Commission has decided to open an in-depth investigation to assess, in particular, whether:

  • Corsair’s own or market’s contributions to the restructuring costs are sufficient, real, actual and free of any aid; the restructuring aid is proportionate and the State gets appropriate remuneration for its intervention.
  • The restructuring plan can restore Corsair’s long-term viability without additional or continued State aid and within a reasonable time period.
  • There are appropriate measures in place to limit the distortions of competition created by the restructuring aid on the internal market for air transport services.
  • The amendment to Corsair’s restructuring plan would adequately contribute to the development of an economic activity or of the economic area served by the company as claimed in the original restructuring plan.”

“The Commission will now investigate further.”

“The opening of an in-depth investigation gives France and interested third parties, including the alleged beneficiary of the aid, the opportunity to submit comments.”

“It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.”

All eyes will be on what comes forward from this.

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