European Commission opens investigation into Polish state aid for LOT airline

AMSTERDAM – European Commission regulators say they have opened an investigation into whether support Poland has given to its flag carrier LOT Polish Airline is permissible under European competition rules.

In June, Poland notified the Commission it had given the struggling airline a 200 million-euro ($275 million) injection to help it survive and restructure.

The Commission said it has multiple concerns about the aid, including that forecasts the company will be viable in the long term “may not be realistic.” It also said the airline’s offers to reduce its capacity may not be enough of a sacrifice to create a level playing field for rivals that find themselves forced to compete with a company that enjoys a state backstop.

LOT has been loss-making since 2008.