Breaking News – Ryanair Loses Legal Action Over Airline Bailouts.
IRISH low-cost airline Ryanair has lost its battle in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today (February 17) after the court rejected their complaint against state aid granted to national carriers, including rivals Air France and SAS.
The EU court considered the action to provide public aid in France and Sweden to save their aviation companies, hit by the coronavirus pandemic, to be legal.
“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, referring to the French scheme, as reported by Reuters.
Regarding the Swedish scheme, the court said: “The scheme at issue is presumed to have been adopted in the interest of the European Union.”
The budget carrier is said to have filed 16 lawsuits against the Commission seeking to have the Commission convicted and the decisions to be annulled after it was revealed the state aid had been provided to individual airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM, Austrian Airlines and TAP. They also hit out against national schemes that mainly benefit flag carriers.
Ryanair says it will appeal denouncing the bailouts as “discriminatory state subsidies.”
Ryanair entered the pandemic with a healthy balance sheet and vows to continue challenging the aid given to its competitors which were in a weaker position at the start of the crisis.
Ryanair claims the bailouts will create an ‘uneven playing field’ in the coming years as the airline industry recovers from the COVID-19 restrictions that have seen a downturn in business and a number of airlines go bust, such as Flybe and German Wings.
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