Germany’s federal and regional governments will discuss over the next two weeks the possibility of providing state aid to airports in the country to help them recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

The European Commission in August approved a proposal by Germany that would enable authorities at federal, state and municipal levels to provide direct grants to compensate airport operators for losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic during the period between 4 March and 30 June.

Generic airline traffic at Munich airport

Source: Munich airport

But German authorities “have not yet provided or committed to any substantial financial support”, says an industry insider familiar with the matter. However, the source adds that federal and regional governments agreed on 6 November to “seek financial solutions for airports in the next two weeks”.

The news follows a warning from trade body ACI Europe on 5 November that airports faced “large-scale job losses and insolvency” without government intervention.

ACI Europe is urging the Commission to extend its temporary state-aid rules until the end of 2021, and to make compensation for Covid-19-related damages available for airports “for as long as travel restrictions by member states are preventing the recovery of air traffic”. It also wants to see “targeted and time-limited schemes” that would allow support for the resumption of air services suspended by the pandemic until 2023.

“The situation requires urgent and decisive action with an ad-hoc Recovery Framework for Aviation at EU level enabling support beyond 2021, and governments providing financial support accordingly,” states ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec.

“Industry is playing its part to the fullest, but it ultimately falls to governments to act now to avoid the irreversible.”