The European Commission said on August 17 that it has approved 4.4 million euro in Bulgarian state aid aimed at supporting the Bourgas and Varna airports in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of its measures to lessen the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved a number of measures to reduce the economic impact of Covid-19 on airports, including lower fees on all airports, as well as a deferral of the 2020 concession fee for Bourgas and Varna airports on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.

The two airports, managed by a subsidiary of Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport, took a harder hit than the country’s main hub, Sofia Airport, given the sharp fall in tourist numbers visiting Bulgaria, which resulted in fewer charter flights to Bourgas and Varna during the summer holiday season.

The European Commission said that that the measure was meant to help the two airports addressing the liquidity shortages that they were facing by reducing the costs borne by the airport operator.

The Commission said that the measure was in line with the conditions set out in its temporary framework for state aid, which eased some rules during the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular because the payment deferral was temporary and involved minimum remuneration.