Ryanair loses a suit against Euro subsidies for flag carriers

Photo: EPA

The budget airline Ryanair announced it had lost a case in court which was aimed at the mechanism of state aid for European flag carriers amid pandemic, Reuters reported. The Luxembourg-based General Court has ruled that financial aid targeted to offset the Covid-19 negative effects did not pose a discriminatory measure and therefore was no meant to hurt Ryanair’s interests.

Air France and SAS have received state funding to support their business. The judgment from the General Court is the first to deal with aid measures cleared by the European Commission under easier rules aimed at helping European Union governments prop up companies hit by the pandemic. The court said the French and Swedish schemes were in line with the bloc’s rules.

“That aid scheme is appropriate for making good the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and does not constitute discrimination,” the court said quoted by Reuters, referring to the French scheme. Regarding the Swedish scheme, the court said: “The scheme at issue is presumed to have been adopted in the interest of the European Union.” Ryanair had taken issue with the European Commission for clearing a French scheme allowing airlines to defer certain aeronautical taxes and Sweden’s loan guarantee scheme for airlines. Both schemes benefited their flag carriers. Europe’s biggest budget carrier has filed 16 lawsuits against the Commission for allowing state aid to individual airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM, Austrian Airlines and TAP, as well as national schemes that mainly benefit flag carriers.

Similar articles

  • Ireland’s Ryanair aims to hire 5,000 new staff

    Ireland’s Ryanair aims to hire 5,000 new staff

    Irish airline Ryanair said on Thursday that it’s planning to create 5,000 jobs over the next five years as part of its recovery from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, AP reported. The additional pilots, cabin crew and engineers will mean that the company will have more than recouped the 3,000 jobs it got rid of at the start of the pandemic last year. CEO Michael O’Leary said the carrier has been snapping up slots that have been vacated by airlines that have either collapsed or retrenched over the past 18 months or so.

    51
  • US passes $10bn high speed rails bill

    US passes $10bn high speed rails bill

    US House of Representatives will vote next week on new legislation that envisages some $10 billion in government help for high-speed-rail corridors. The House Transportation and Infrastructure proposal also includes another 10 billion dollars to support mobility for low-income Americans, including establishing new transit routes and funding for a fare-free service. The money is expected to be part of a $3.5 trillion government spending bill, Reuters reported.

    64
  • Australia sells Sydney Airport for $17.4bn

    Australia sells Sydney Airport for $17.4bn

    Australia holds talks with strategic investors in a bid to sell its biggest airport. The expected value of the transaction for the Sydney Airport is some 17.4 billion dollars, Reuters reported. The buyer is an infrastructure investor group which won permission to conduct due diligence after depositing weetening its takeover offer.

    72