European Commission officials have confirmed that the Maltese Government has approached it over a possible state-aid package for national carrier Air Malta.

The Times of Malta reports that Malta’s government sent a proposal to the Commission on 12 April detailing a five-year state-aid refinancing plan under which it would pump €290 million ($347 million) into the struggling carrier. The airline’s challenges have been compounded by the hit to travel from the coronavirus crisis.

Air Malta fleet

Source: Air Malta

European rules governing state aid have been temporarily relaxed to help counter the crisis caused by the pandemic and a number of government rescue aid packages for European airlines have since been approved by the Commission.

”The Commission has been recently contacted by Malta on possible aid to Air Malta,” a European Commission spokesperson confirms. ”We cannot further comment on the content of the contacts nor on a possible assessment at this stage.”