EU OKs $1.9B Berlin Airport Bailout

Germany secured European Commission approval to provide Berlin Brandenburg airport with a €1.7 billion (US$1.9 billion) bailout as it struggles to survive after opening mid-way through the pandemic.

The European Union’s executive arm said in a statement Tuesday, February 1, that the German government and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg can proceed with plans to recapitalize Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH, which runs the hub.

“Airports have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus outbreak,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. “With this measure, Germany will contribute to reinforcing Berlin Brandenburg’s equity position and help the company face the economic effects of the outbreak.”

FBB is the state-owned airport operator in Berlin, Germany. It manages the Berlin Brandenburg airport.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak and the travel restrictions that Germany and other countries had to impose to limit the spread of the virus, FBB suffered substantial losses while still facing significant operational costs. As a result, the equity and liquidity position of the company deteriorated.

In this context, Germany notified to the Commission, under the Temporary Framework, its plans to grant up to €1.7 billion for the recapitalization of FBB by allowing its public shareholders, the Länder Berlin and Brandenburg and the Federal Republic of Germany, to inject the capital into FBB’s capital reserve.

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