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Air services to Corsica: Commission gives go-ahead for social aid scheme

The European Commission decided to authorise revision of the social aid scheme entitling certain categories of passenger to reduced fares on several air routes between Corsica and the mainland…

The European Commission decided to authorise revision of the social aid scheme entitling certain categories of passenger to reduced fares on several air routes between Corsica and the mainland. The scheme is designed to promote the opening-up of Corsica: it will help combat handicaps connected with its insular nature and promote economic development and job creation on the island.



The following categories of passenger will be entitled to a reduction of 50 to 56 euros on the cost of their ticket: persons whose main place of residence is Corsica, persons under 25 or over 60, students under 27, persons travelling as a family with minors and disabled persons or invalids. The reductions apply to services between Corsica [1] and Marseilles, Nice, Montpellier and Lyon. The scheme updates similar schemes already approved by the Commission in 2000.



The Commission considered that the scheme constituted state aid for the benefit of airlines. By generating an air service demand in excess of what would exist without it, the scheme gives an advantage to the carriers operating the services. This advantage is funded by means of public resources.



Nevertheless, the Commission authorised the scheme because the aid:

  • actually goes to the consumers;
  • is social in character – the Commission considers that living on an island can be a disadvantage which justifies transport aid
  • is granted without discrimination with regard to the origin of the services, since all the companies wishing to operate on the four lines will be eligible for the new scheme.


In accordance with established practice and with precedents in other Member States, [2] the Commission considered that the aid was compatible with the Common market.



[1] Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi and Figari.

[2] Commission Decisions of 29.07.1998 concerning air transport compensation for residents of the Canaries (N 387/1998) and the Balearic Islands (N 386/1998). Commission Decision of 27.08.1998 concerning services between Madeira and the rest of Portugal (N 414/1998). Commission Decision of 03.09.1999 concerning services to the minor islands of Sicily (N 399/1999). Commission Decision of 01.03.2000 concerning services between Marseilles and Nice and Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi and Figari (N 24/2000).

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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