Bankrupt Estonian national carrier ceases operations after EU ruling on state aid

Estonia's national carrier is immediately ceasing operations after the European Union ruled that the Baltic nation's carrier had illegally received state aid, a decision that put it out of business.

EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says the aid breached EU rules. Vestager said Saturday the small airline must pay back "about 85 million euros ($92.1 million) plus interest" to Estonian taxpayers.

Estonia already has earmarked 40.7 million euros ($44.1 million) as an initial capital for a new, fully state-owned carrier. Under the plan, domestic and foreign investors would be allowed at a later stage.

Since 2009, Estonia has injected nearly 60 million euros ($65 million) into Estonian Air to keep it flying.

On its website, Estonian Air said it will cease operation as of Sunday.