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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Cyprus’ national carrier has shut down after the European Commission told the airline it must repay more than €60 million in illegal state aid.
The EU Commission said the Cypriot government, which owns 93 per cent of the airline, had broken rules on support for struggling companies.
Under EU rules a company can only receive state assistance once every 10 years, and the airline had already been bailed out in 2007. The rule is in place to prevent firms from relying on government support to keep running.
EU competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the struggling airline had received “large quantities of public money” over the past six years but is still unable to be financially viable without continued state support.
Finance minister Harris Georgiades said: “The company has ceased being a viable entity...and cannot continue to operate,"
He said the state would fully cover the cost of alternative flights for passengers who had already booked with the airline.
In August, Ryanair confirmed it had submitted a bid to takeover Cyprus Airways, which was one of 15 bids submitted to the government.