ESA has approved a guarantee scheme in Norway for airline operators facing a shortage of liquidity due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The demand for passenger travel by air in Norway has dropped significantly due to the containment measures adopted. This has severe consequences for the airline operators, which face serious and acute liquidity shortages. The aviation sector is an important part of Norway’s critical infrastructure, and a major contributor to the country’s economy.

– ESA has acted swiftly to approve the proposed guarantee scheme, reflecting the key priority we give to handling pandemic related measures in these difficult times. Our seamless cooperation with Norwegian authorities, and with the European Commission, has facilitated a rapid decision on our side, said ESA-President Bente Angell-Hansen.

The scheme was notified by the Norway 30 March, and approved by ESA the same day. With its decision, ESA approves Norwegian public guarantees to airline operators in order to meet the liquidity needs they face due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

ESA has approved the scheme taking into account the State Aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak adopted by the European Commission on 19 March 2020.