Ryanair Loses Case Over French and Swedish Aid Approval
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has lost its case against the European Commission over its approval of Swedish and French state aid for their airlines, including KLM sister Air France and SAS.
The General Court of the European Union, part of the Court, ruled that the day-to-day EU administration was within its right to authorize the millions in aid connected with the corona crisis last year.
The commission suspended EU state aid rules connected with the pandemic on March 19 last year to temporarily allow the Member States to keep businesses afloat and save jobs with impunity temporarily. The 27 EU Member States have now provided more than EUR 3 trillion in support to companies in various sectors.
Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline, has filed 16 lawsuits against the commission. They are against state aid to individual airlines such as KLM, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, as well as against national schemes to support airlines. These were the first things.
The General Court states that the loan guarantee scheme set up by Sweden is in line with current EU rules. The guarantee scheme aims to help airlines with a Swedish operating license through the pandemic and to remedy a severe disturbance of Sweden’s economy. According to the Court, the deferment of payment for individual taxes that France grants to airlines with a French operating license because of the pandemic is also permitted.
Ryanair has indicated that it will appeal because otherwise, aviation relations would be disrupted for decades. The budget flyer argued that the aid measures are in violation of competition rules. In addition, the Irish find support for societies disproportionate. Furthermore, Brussels would not have investigated the national measures and, according to Ryanair, the aid measures were insufficiently substantiated.