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Estonian Air to Get More Government Aid to Help Restructuring

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- AS Estonian Air will get a new government rescue loan of 16.6 million euros ($21.7 million) even as the European Commission probes if earlier injections for the national carrier followed the bloc’s state aid rules.

The Cabinet decided to increase a December rescue loan of 8.3 million euros to ensure “a successful restructuring” of the carrier, according to an e-mailed statement from the government press office yesterday.

The European Union executive said on Feb. 20 it will examine about 65.5 million euros in capital increases given to the carrier by the Cabinet of Premier Andrus Ansip since 2009, similar to probes of Slovenia’s Adria Airways d.d. and Latvia’s AirBaltic AS announced last November, as nations have been propping up carriers weighed down by the bloc’s sovereign debt crisis and high oil prices.

The Economy Ministry will file a request with the commission to expand rescue loans for the company as much as 37 million euros by March 4 at the latest, the government said. Further decisions on rescue loans will be made after the company files a restructuring plan, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at oummelas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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