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EU Court rejects Wizz Air's plea against rescue aid for Romania's Tarom

EU Court rejects Wizz Air's plea against rescue aid for Romania's Tarom Tarom

BUCHAREST (Romania), May 4 (SeeNews) - Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air lost its court challenge against a European Commission decision to clear a 36.66 million euro ($38.6 million) Covid-19 rescue aid for Romanian state-owned flag carrier Tarom, the General Court of the European Union said on Wednesday.

That aid is compatible with the internal market as it aims to prevent the social hardship that a disruption of Tarom’s services might cause for the connectivity of regions in Romania, the EU court said in a decision posted on its website.

The Commission approved the loan in February 2020. The loan is repayable at the end of a six-month period, with an early-pay option.

Wizz Air tried to overturn the court's decision, alleging that the aid fails to contribute to an objective of common interest and that the company has received rescue aid before.

The court stated that, taking into account the poor condition of Romanian road and rail infrastructure, the Commission was entitled to find that regional connectivity by means of domestic air routes and that international connectivity provided by Tarom constituted an important service, the disruption of which could involve serious social hardship.

On Monday, the Commission announced it approved a 1.9 million euro Romanian aid package for Tarom, to offset the financial loss incurred during the pandemic. The aid package will be deployed as a capital injection which addresses damage incurred by Tarom between July 1, 2020 and the December 31, 2020 across 14 flight routes.

(1 euro=4.9471 lei)

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