Before the share capital of the Estonian airline Nordica can be increased, it needs to be ascertained whether the capital boost is state aid or not, finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE) said on Thursday.
The government decided at the end of April to increase the share capital of Nordica by 30 million euros. The increase of the share capital is conditional on the merger of Nordic Aviation Group AS, or Nordica, with Regional Jet OU and Transpordi Varahaldus OU.
In addition, Nordica must come up with a plan for resuming flights out of Tallinn.
"A closer scrutiny has revealed that when it comes to the cash injection into Nordica, we need to get to know first whether it is state aid or not," Helme said at the government press conference.
The minister said he will not agree to an allocation of money to Nordica before that question is answered, as otherwise the state might again find itself in a situation similar to the one experienced with the state-owned airline Estonian Air in the past.
Estonian Air went out of business in 2015 after an inquiry by the European Commission established that the Estonian government had provided illegal state aid to the airline.
Editor: Helen Wright