The European Commission has approved €12.8m of Italian state aid for Alitalia to compensate the airline for losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic, the EU executive said today.

It is the fourth authorisation for subsidies to Alitalia that the Commission has approved since the beginning of the pandemic.

The new direct grant takes to more than €310m the total of state aid approved by the EU in favour of Alitalia for damages caused by the pandemic from March to December 2020.

"This measure aims at compensating the airline for the damages suffered on certain routes due to the coronavirus outbreak during the month of January 2021," the Commission said in a statement.

The Commission added that EU investigations are ongoing into two support measures worth a total of €1.3 billion that Italy granted to Alitalia in 2017 and 2019.